SERVER VIRTUALIZATION | 3 MIN READ
Your server is the central nervous system of your organization's computing operation, and in today's online world, protecting your ability to connect to a network can mean the difference between progress and disaster.
This article will explain the purp ose of servers and what a virtual server does for a network during times of need.
Not a lot of time? Skip to what you need:
What Does a Server Do?
Technically, a server is a more powerful computer, but most don't look like what we know to be a computer. Larger servers can be quite big and, depending on the need, there may be several.
In fact, there are entire buildings that house hundreds/thousands of servers for companies like Google, website hosts, and more.
As part of an organization's network, servers are connected to several workstations. The workstations request information from the server over the network. This allows a significant amount of data to be stored in a safe location, other than the computer's hard drive.
When someone saves something to "the cloud," it isn't disappearing in some invisible space. It's being stored offsite on a server, through the internet.
Servers are very valuable for keeping information safe. Offsite servers are especially effective when unfortunate scenarios occur, like a fire, which could damage hardware inside a building, thus destroying any saved information.
What is Server Virtualization?
Organizations that choose to employ the services of a managed IT service provider often have the option of including server virtualization as part of their service plan.
Server virtualization serves as a functioning server when an organization's on-premise/main server(s) loses connectivity or functionality.
One scenario might be a ransomware attack on a company's network. Without server virtualization, a cyber criminal would be able to encrypt all of the files on an organization's server and demand a ransom for the data to be returned to them.
Similarly, companies experience network downtime. For many companies, this can create significant revenue loss and reputation damage if a network is offline too long.
With server virtualization, if either of those scenarios were to occur, an offsite server with a provider would be turned on and all of the company's files that have been backed up would be used.
This means, that a company may be locally offline, but because of server virtualization, you would never know it.
Do I Need Server Virtualization?
As I stated earlier, server virtualization is made available by a service provider in most cases (unless your organization is able to host its own offsite servers).
As a result, this luxury costs money that not every business feels comfortable spending. To determine whether or not you need to look into leveraging the benefits of server virtualization, ask yourself these questions:
- If my network were to be compromised by cyber criminals, is my organization in a position to lose some or all important data?
- If my network were to lose connectivity, could business still be conducted?
- If business could not be conducted, what is the cost of downtime, such as employees being paid but not working, transactions not being made, and soft costs (like reputation damage).
If any of your answers illustrated a negative outcome for your organization, server virtualization may be the right step for you.
'Yes, this service costs money, but it's important to put in perspective whether or not you can afford the alternative. Most companies can't and that's why 60% of all small businesses go out of business in six months after a data breach (US National Cyber Security Alliance).
For most businesses, it isn't a matter of if your network will go down, but when.
The question is: will you be prepared.
If you want to learn more about server virtualization and other services that help protect your network, reach out to Standard Office Systems and discover ways to protect your network and business from today's cyber threats.
Posted by Scott Leonardo
Scott Leonardo is a Business Development Manager for Standard Office Systems. Scott has over 20 years of experience selling in the office technology space with extensive knowledge in Managed IT Services, Document Imaging and Workflow, Document Outsourcing, Managed Print Services and Unified Communications.