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Educating customers on virtualization

Many enterprise clients look to their service providers for virtualization solutions. These customers have heard about the benefits that such technology can offer, including reduced complexity, improved reliability and security and boosted performance. However, what many administrators have yet to understand is the different types of virtualization available and what each can mean for their organization. It is up to the telecommunications service provider that implements the technology to educate customers on the different options available and ensure that customers have all the information necessary to make an informed decision and use their solution optimally.

In an overall sense, virtualization refers to the practice of migrating physical assets to a virtual, off-premise set up and making them accessible over the Internet or other similar connection. In this way, a variety of virtual resources can be shared and accessed from different workstations. There are a wide variety of different types of virtualization strategies, however some of the most common virtualized assets include operating systems, servers, hardware and storage.

Operating system virtualization

One of the most widely utilized types of virtualization involves the operating system. This strategy is quickly becoming a core component of IT infrastructures, and is the practice that many end users are most familiar with. In this way, vendors typically need not spend an excessive amount of time explaining what this practice includes.

Clients should know that OS virtualization occurs when a machine’s main system, usually on a desktop workstation, is moved into a virtual environment. As many firms utilize a single OS stored on an on-premises server and used by a number of workstations, this solution provides added flexibility and frees up company resources. Because it is hosted elsewhere, individual users can adjust their desktop’s OS without affecting the systems or other users. With this type of solution, one computer could also run multiple virtual operating systems at once.

Server virtualization

Telecoms can explain server virtualization as a solution that is just as it sounds: A company implementing this type migrates their on-premises physical servers into a virtual atmosphere. In other words, customers no longer need to maintain physical servers within their premises as these systems are typically hosted within data center facilities instead. This allows the client to reduce the amount of servers they keep on location and lower IT and administrative expenditures.

Hardware virtualization

This type of virtualization strategy is basically a combination of the previously discussed practices. In the simplest definition, hardware virtualization involves taking the physical components and software of IT equipment and moving them to an online arrangement.

In particular, companies may want to consider utilizing a “slicing” approach to hardware virtualization. With this method, parts of the system are run in a separate environment. For example, a percentage of CPU resources used for bulk encryption can be virtualized, sometimes referred to as pre-allocation.

Storage virtualization

Service providers can easily explain this type of virtualization as many customers recognize it as cloud storage, which can be hosted by the organization itself or by the vendor. This strategy can provide the scalability and flexibility that many clients are seeking, and is also one of the most cost-effective virtualization technologies to deploy.

Although there are several other types of virtualization methods that customers can choose from, these are the most common. In this way, service providers should be sure that clients are aware of all the available solutions and the differences among them.

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