The Benefits of Virtualization

Last Updated:
April 11, 2024

The Benefits of Virtualization

Virtualization can be defined as technology that creates virtual representations of physical machines (i.e. servers, storage, and networks), applications, desktops, storage, or data. Due to the variety of computing elements that can be virtualized, virtualization delivers benefits across several domains, including IT infrastructure, software development, and application deployment.

Virtualization Benefits for IT Infrastructure

Cost Savings: Virtualization enables IT to make efficient use of costly hardware resources by dynamically allocating CPU, memory, and storage to virtual machines (VMs) as needed to optimize resource utilization. Virtualization also allows IT to consolidate multiple workloads onto fewer physical servers to reduce power consumption.

Flexibility: Since VMs run separately from the underlying hardware, IT can move VMs from one physical server to another without making changes to the VM. This capability allows IT to execute load balancing, hardware maintenance, and disaster recovery operations with little or no downtime. Additionally, VMs can be easily created, cloned, or deleted. This flexibility makes it simpler to scale applications up or down as needed, leading to more agility in IT operations.

Reduced Complexity: Since multiple workloads can be consolidated on fewer physical servers, IT has fewer physical servers to manage. And, since IT can take snapshots of a VM’s state at a specific point in time, it’s easier and less complex to recover from system failures or data loss, making backup and disaster recovery simpler. Finally, virtualization management tools offer centralized control, making it easier to provision, monitor, and manage VMs.

Security: Since VMs are isolated from each other, issues in one VM (i.e., crashes or security breaches) do not affect others in the data center, enhancing security and infrastructure stability. This isolation also makes it easier to implement security measures like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and network segmentation.

Hardware Independence: Since IT can run VMs with older applications and operating systems (OS) on modern hardware, an organization can continue to run business-critical legacy systems.

Efficiency: IT can ensure that one VM’s resource usage doesn’t negatively impact other VMs on the same server by setting resource limits, enabling efficient resource management and preventing performance bottlenecks. Additionally, virtualization can provide IT with failover clustering and live migration features, which enhance system availability in case of failure by automatically shifting workloads to healthy hosts, and automating repetitive management tasks.

Virtualization Benefits for Software Development

Cost Savings: Virtualization allows multiple VMs to run on a single physical machine, reducing the need for developers to have multiple systems, reducing hardware costs, energy consumption, maintenance, and space.

Flexibility: In addition to enabling developers to run multiple VMs on one physical machine, VMs can be easily created, cloned, or deleted, allowing developers to easily spin up or take down test environments.

Security: VMs can be isolated and segmented, making it easier to implement security measures, even at the machine level.

Hardware Independence: Virtualization allows developers to work on older applications and operating systems using modern hardware, extending the life of mission-critical applications. Virtualization also allows developers to write code for a different OS than the physical machine they’re utilizing.

Efficiency: Developers can create and run VMs with different configurations and operating systems to build and test software in various environments without needing separate physical machines. Virtualization can also aid in compliance efforts by providing a controlled and auditable environment for testing and validation. Finally, since developers can take snapshots to capture a VM’s state at a point in time, it’s easier to recover and restore costly app development efforts in the case of a system failure.

Virtualization Benefits for Application Deployment

Unlike virtualization products used to create virtual servers and desktop machines, desktop and application virtualization/application publishing separate the desktop environment and applications from the physical device OS used to access those desktops and applications. This separation allows centrally hosted sets of applications to be published and delivered to a range of end user devices.

Compared to traditional application delivery approaches, desktop virtualization simplifies the role of IT by centralizing application maintenance and updates, and provides users with a full desktop and application experience on any device, regardless of where they are.

Desktop and application virtualization/application publishing delivers the following benefits for IT and end users:

Cost Savings: Virtualization reduces the need for modern physical hardware, leading to hardware purchase and maintenance cost savings.

Flexibility: Virtualization allows users to utilize any operating system and device they prefer and still be productive when using corporate applications. Additionally, virtualized applications are less affected by a user's home network, with its unmanaged firewalls, variable bandwidth, slow uploads, high latency and low signal quality.

Reduced Complexity: Since virtualization extends the life of physical hardware, it extends end user computing purchase and replacement cycles, reducing the complexity of end user device management so IT can spend more time on strategic projects.

Security: Since virtual applications run on a server and not the user device, the application and the data generated is not susceptible to potential threats from (for example) malware inadvertently installed on an end user’s machine.

Hardware Independence: Virtualization allows desktops and applications to run on outdated hardware, extending hardware life and allowing users to be productive so matter what device they use, even if the device’ operating system differs from the application OS. Additionally, virtualization allows a user to run a mission-critical legacy app on modern hardware, extending the useful life of that application.

Efficiency: With desktop and application virtualization, IT no longer needs to struggle to keep end users’ devices updated and maintained, since virtualized apps and desktops can run on an end user device using a small footprint client to display the virtualized or published applications.

Virtualization Benefits for Windows ISVs

 If you’re a Windows® ISV, virtualization can:

  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness when delivering your application to customers from a public, private, or hybrid cloud;
  • Enable your development team to do more with less and streamline software testing and validation; and
  • Make your Windows software available to customers using outdated hardware or non-Windows operating systems.

 GO-Global® delivers additional benefits to Windows ISVs, including:

  • Significant cost savings over other virtualization solutions: up to 40% less than Microsoft® RDS and up to 70% less than virtualized desktop and application solutions from Citrix® and VMware®;
  • Address user home network issues with GO-Global’s proprietary low bandwidth protocol, RapidX Protocol (RXP), that improves application performance on underperforming networks;
  • Provide additional app security with two-factor authentication and support for OpenID® to enable single sign-on for Windows applications;
  • Run Windows apps in a browser for customers averse to installing a client on their machine; and
  • Reduce infrastructure complexity by utilizing features provided by your cloud service, like load balancing and security tools.

 To learn more about GO-Global, request a demo here or download a free 30-day trial.