Virtualization is one of the oldest and most widely adopted computing technologies. Today, 75 percent of organizations use virtual servers. Virtualization practices have come a long way since IBM released the first commercially available virtual product in 1972. And new trends are constantly emerging to help organizations get more from their virtual environments. So what does the future of virtualization look like?
In this post, we’ll explore four key virtualization trends that IT professionals should prepare for and training courses to keep you ahead of the virtualization curve.
1. Broader Security Implications
Virtual machines and servers are more secure than their physical counterparts in some ways — and more dangerous in others. Although cybercriminals must possess advanced hacking skills to penetrate a virtual environment, the interconnectedness of virtual environments creates a wider threat surface. Cybercriminals can attack an entire network by infecting one machine.
As virtual penetration tactics advance, your security measures need to keep pace. For IT professionals, that means understanding that virtual servers add another layer of technology to your computing system on top of hardware and applications. This third layer must be secured just like the first two.
The activities used to secure virtual and physical environments are similar, but the techniques differ. Enrolling in virtualization training courses is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest security best practices, including:
- Host server hardening
- Advanced malware protection
- Access control
- Disaster recovery
- Virtual network protection
- Updating and logging
- And more
2. Greater Management Complexity
If you’ve been running virtual machines for years, you’re likely running into more complex management issues. Although virtualization allows companies to have more extensive data centers than ever before, it poses new configuration problems. Managing all the moving parts of a virtual data center requires new skills that are uncharted territory for IT staff who’ve been manually managing on-premises data centers for years.
You cannot manage large virtual data centers manually. They require automation and composability, or the ability to provision workloads only when necessary. This new style of server management means admins must learn how to configure virtual servers.
Failing to learn proper virtual configuration and management techniques can result in VM sprawl — or forgotten virtual machines that were created without the appropriate lifecycle and security controls. When you forget about virtual machines, you spend unnecessary money on storage, lower your performance bandwidth and put your data at risk.
Because virtual machines are so easy to create, VM sprawl is a common issue. That’s why you must educate yourself on proper configuration and management techniques.
3. Growing Storage Costs
Virtualization gives you instant access to computing resources. But with this capability comes increased storage costs.
When multiple VMs run on a single physical host, your server can have a hard time coping with the high levels of random input and output. As a result, businesses quickly find that they need more storage, which means more money.
IT professionals must be privy to the increased storage demands of virtualization and plan accordingly. The best way to mitigate storage costs for a virtual environment is to implement solutions like storage virtualization, deduplication and thin provisioning. These technologies help you get the most capacity out of your infrastructure.
You should also keep in mind that storage management software with automation capabilities can help you reduce system load.
4. Performance Issues
Virtual machines that are set up correctly perform at the same level as physical machines. But businesses that inadequately plan, configure and deploy their virtual environments may experience performance issues.
IT professionals can take steps to prevent performance issues.
One tactic is resource throttling, or using a hypervisor to control CPU memory, network bandwidth and disk bandwidth for each VM. Administrators can also perform tests to drill down into which VMS are using the most CPU resources and leverage tools like VMware’s Distributed Resource Scheduler.
Get More From Your VMs With Virtualization Training
Server virtualization significantly reduces an organization’s dependency on hardware and offers enormous cost savings. However, this sophisticated technology also presents new issues that IT professionals must navigate.
Stay on top of virtualization trends and best practices with New Horizons training courses. As the No. 1 independent IT training company in the world, New Horizons offers expert-led training courses for the most popular virtualization vendors:
Whether you’re new to the virtualization world, need a refresher or want to become an expert, taking courses and certifications can help. Find out more about our learning approach or contact us today for more information.