A server plays a central role in modern IT infrastructure, and virtual servers are increasingly being chosen for this purpose. However, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a virtual server and what exactly does it entail? At Cloud360, as specialists, we will be happy to tell you more about this.

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What is a virtual server?

A virtual server, also known as a virtual machine (VM), is a software implementation of a computer running on a physical server. Instead of using an entire physical server for each application, it is possible to host multiple virtual servers on a single physical server. Each virtual server can run its own operating system and can be configured to very specific needs, such as desired CPU, working memory and storage space.

How does a virtual server work?

Virtual server are created using specially developed software. This software allows the hardware of a physical server to be divided and isolated so that multiple virtual servers can run simultaneously without affecting each other. Each virtual server then behaves like an independent computer, with its own operating system and applications. So while in practice it is just one very powerful physical computer.

What are the advantages of a virtual server?

A virtual server has some very important advantages over an in-house physical server, the main ones being:

  • Cost-effective: Virtual servers make efficient use of external hardware, allowing companies to save on the cost of physical servers and their maintenance.
  • Scalable: Adding, removing, scaling up and down virtual servers is quick and easy. This allows companies to react quickly to changing demands and requirements, but also take into account any expected peak loads.
  • Flexibile: Virtual servers can be easily moved or copied from one physical server to another, making it easy to allocate and optimise resources for different purposes.
  • Reliable: Thanks to features such as live migration and failover clustering, virtual servers offer high availability and reliability even in case of hardware failures.
  • Isolation of resources: Each virtual server is isolated from other virtual servers on the same physical computer, meaning that problems in one virtual server do not affect the performance of other virtual servers.

What are the disadvantages of a virtual server?

Of course, a virtual server also has some drawbacks that should not be underestimated. Some points to consider are:

  • Performance: Although virtual technologies have greatly improved in recent years, because multiple virtual servers reside on a single physical server, performance issues can still arise in the process. On a dedicated server you won’t suffer from this.
  • Complex: Managing a virtual environment can be complex, especially for organisations for which this is completely new. It often requires specialised knowledge and skills, making it advisable to bring in a specialist. At Cloud360, we are happy to help with this.
  • Risk of overkill: Because it is so easy to create and customise virtual server, there is a risk that organisations over-allocate resources to themselves, this leads to waste and higher costs.
  • Dependency: Virtual servers depend on the physical host server they run on. If the host server goes down, whatever the reason, it can affect all the virtual servers running on it.
  • Security: Because multiple virtual servers run on the same physical hardware, a security incident in one virtual server can compromise other servers on the same host.

So, is a virtual server interesting for my organisation?

Virtual servers offer significant benefits to organisations in terms of cost efficiency, scalability, flexibility and reliability. However, it is important to understand that there are also potential drawbacks and risks to choosing a virtual server. When choosing a virtual server, it is therefore very important to engage a specialist who can maximise the benefits while minimising the risks. With the right planning, implementation and management, virtual servers can be a valuable addition to organisations’ IT infrastructure, making them more agile and efficient in delivering services and products to their users and customers.

As a specialised IT service provider in the Netherlands, Cloud360 can help organisations with the deployment and management of virtual server environments. This allows your organisation to enjoy the benefits of virtualisation while the risks are mitigated by us. Contact us for expert advice and support on virtual machines and any alternatives that may better suit your needs and requirements.