The Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtualisation Explained

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May 30, 2012

Virtualisation is a computer technology which allows for the creation of a virtual as opposed to an actual or physical version of something, like an operating system, network resource or storage device. For instance a virtual Windows operating system can be easily accessed via a Mac which gives the user an opportunity to work with two operating systems on one computer / hardware. With this approach people and businesses are able to centralize the management of their network. It also reduces the dependency on additional hardware and software which cost extra both in the long and short term.

The AdvantagesVirtualisation

  • One of the top advantages of Virtualisation is that it requires less hardware to run the same type and amount of software which brings down overall costs.
  • Simple data recovery is another great advantage of this technology. For instance if your virtual server suddenly becomes corrupted you simply delete it and restore it from its virtual backup. You do not need to spend time and effort on restoring your entire system from scratch and then restore it from the latest backup. So a corrupted virtual system can be recovered in mere minutes.
  • Virtualisation provides you with a safe platform on which you can test various software configurations and on various platforms prior to deployment. So in effect you can tinker with the software until you get what you exactly want without inadvertently damaging your existing network.
  • Lower energy consumption since you’re running less computer hardware to accomplish the same type of work.
  • Better system security and reliability. Virtualisation systems do not crash due to corruption like device drivers or memory issues.

Some Disadvantages of Virtualisation

  • Even though rare, physical failures when they do happen can be devastating. For instance if your primary hard disk which contained all your virtual and physical data is suddenly stolen, burnt, broken or corrupted then all your servers both virtual and physical will need to be restored.
  • Virtualisation is mainly dependent on processing power and memory. So you’ll need to factor in both much more memory and processing power into your Virtualisationstrategy.
  • You’ll need to invest in training existing network administrators who do not have the skills to administer a virtual network.
  • When something goes wrong with a virtualized system it requires complex troubleshooting. This requires expertise and experience of working and troubleshooting Virtualisation problems.

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