What is a Virtual Server?

October 16th, 2013 by admin

For businesses that started small, purchasing a virtual server is a big decision. In the early stages of a business, employees likely use laptop or desktop computers that are connected to the same Internet, but not necessarily centralized on a server. Individual computers can work for a smaller business that just needs access to desktop applications and a web browser, but once your business expands, employees will need an easier, intuitive way to collaborate — this can be best accomplished by a virtual server.

But what exactly is a virtual server? Although it’s not a term you hear everyday, you don’t have to be an IT aficionado to understand the concept behind a virtual server.

What is a Virtual Server?

Servers vs. Desktop Computers

To the untrained eye, a small server might actually look like a fancy desktop computer. But while desktops run streamlined operating systems and are designed for one-person use, a server is created to run multi-user email, messaging, calendar, database, and print server applications. Specialized operating systems allow the server to support many users.

Basics of Virtualization

So that’s a standard server — but where does the virtualization come in? A virtual server is different from a standard one in that it lets one server act as multiple servers. Each can run its own operating system (OS) and a different set of applications. Virtual machines are made up of just software, but it contains a physical machine’s parts: a motherboard, CPU (central processing unit), hard disk, and more. Because they can’t detect a difference between a virtual machine and a physical machine, the OS and applications run on the virtual server just like they would on a regular server.

Benefits of a Virtual Server

Efficiency

A virtual server is more efficient than a standard server, because it uses your IT resources more effectively. A typical server only uses 5-15% of its total resources, while a virtual server increases usage to 60-80%, allowing you to run all of your businesses’ applications on one convenient server. And once you have set up one virtual server, you can deploy a new one in minutes.

Collaboration

If your business is expanding, the ways your employees collaborate will be changing. A virtual server acts as a centralized dropbox for all company files, facilitating easier collaboration between employees. The virtual server can also host the company intranet for quick resource-sharing.

Remote Access

Do your employees travel or work from home? A virtual server can run a virtual private network, enabling you and your staff to access virtual server data remotely. The only tools you’ll need are a computer and Internet access; data will remain secure on the virtual server.

Automatic Back-ups

There’s nothing worse than a virus or technical issue that wipes out critical business files. A virtual server can prevent data loss by automatically backing up both laptop and desktop systems.

Cost Effectiveness

You will not have to purchase and find office space for multiple physical servers when you employ a virtual server. Thus, there is a lower start-up cost and less need for additional tech-support.

Getting a Virtual Server for Your Business

A virtual server can be an incredible asset for your business. If you are interested in implementing a virtual server in your Boston, Cambridge, or Quincy business, call Unitel, Inc. at (508) 580-2500 to discuss your options today!

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