Servers are physical pieces of hardware that control the flow of data to and from computing devices that are connected to a network. The server is the central hub that manages worldwide information, and is expected to work perfectly all the time. If a server experiences any technical issues, the accessibility of a particular website or group of websites may be compromised.
Many companies have opted to enlist the use of virtual servers, which allow an organization to streamline and increase the overall efficiency level of a company’s web presence. These virtual servers eliminate the need for a dedicated server for each application, and permit multiple applications to run on one piece of hardware.
After making the choice to virtualize a server system, optimizing the entire operation can provide some additional efficiencies. First, your web hosting company should be able to help you determine which pieces of hardware are good candidates for virtualization. There are software packs available to help determine this – Microsoft and VMware make two reputable choices.
It is also important to ensure that the physical server hardware that you already use is compatible with virtualization software. Some older server platforms won’t work with newer software packages – requiring an investigation into the compatibility factor of all related items.
Another issue to consider, and one that your web host should be able to assist you with, is how well your current software will be compatible with the new virtualization setup. While most virtualization servers are compatible with the majority of software packages, those companies that are using proprietary or older software may want to ensure software harmony before switching server types.
Understanding the true scope of your business and how much bandwidth and memory your website uses is important to establishing a proper virtual network. The basic idea is to eliminate as much non-productive hardware as possible, which reduces utility costs, cooling requirements, and an unnecessary waste of space.
Make sure that your data backup plan is optimized for the virtual server design. Many hosts offer data backup plans that are established for a specific type of hosting relationship. You may want to investigate the prospect of changing your backup plan to sync with your new virtual network.
Finding a qualified web hosting company that employs specially trained technicians with virtual server experience is vital. While this type of configuration is becoming increasingly popular among those who appreciate efficient management of websites, paying attention to a few key points will truly optimize the experience. The moral of the story is: downsize the hardware, and realize the increase in overall website efficiency and performance.