What is a Virtual Data Center?
Challenging economic times, and the physical limitations of space and power are exerting significant pressures on organizations, forcing them to explore new data center architectures. A virtual data center is one such novel architecture. It eliminates many of the traditional data center challenges by reducing costs, minimizing complexity, and increasing IT agility. Learn more about the features and benefits of a virtual data center and how it differs from a traditional data center.
What is a Virtual Data Center?
A virtualized data center is a software abstraction of a physical data center that provides business enterprises with a range of cloud infrastructure components such as servers, storage clusters, and other networking components.
Virtual data centers can customize to include cloud computing capabilities such as processing power, memory, storage, and bandwidth that tailor to the specific requirements.
Virtual data centers can deploy on-premises or through multiple cloud environments – public, private, or hybrid. When implemented in this manner, it can access through an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model – giving companies access to cloud-based assets while maintaining control of their physical hardware.
How does it work?
A data center architecture is designed to provide an organization with certain types of resources. These include processing power, also called “compute” (CPU), storage (RAM and disk space), and networking connectivity. While an organization can deploy all of these resources in an on-prem data center, these same resources are available for lease in the cloud. Instead of purchasing and maintaining their physical infrastructure, virtual data centers allow organizations to rent virtual infrastructure from cloud providers at need.
Benefits of a Virtual Data Center
Below are the main benefits of virtual data centers and the reasons why opting for virtualization may make more sense than investing in a physical IT setup.
Cost Management and Profitability
Progressive organizations ensure that their IT investments align with their strategic business goals. The cost of IT infrastructure is therefore a key consideration. In a virtual data center environment, the software application or service is decoupled from the hardware, allowing the flexibility to operate multiple IT workloads on a shared pool of infrastructure resources. This means improved resource utilization as each hardware component is optimally consumed for true business enablement.
According to a recent Gartner research report, 38 percent of IT spending is controlled by the line of business units, and the fear of vendor lock-in, inflexible infrastructure environments, and integration concerns prevent organizations from undertaking the most profitable route with their IT investments. By extending the virtualization principles to the entire data center, organizations can leverage the ideal hardware infrastructure for changing business-driven IT use cases to maximize profitability.
In the past, provisioning a new server could take weeks, sometimes even months. And onboarding a new employee could take hours. In each case, the new hardware had to be purchased, shipped, and received, and then hours spent installing operating systems and server or job-specific software.
With data center virtualization, IT administrators can set up virtual servers and desktops in minutes from a pre-configured image or master template or by cloning an existing virtual machine.
Virtualized data center technologies allow businesses to procure additional IT resources in minutes in response to changing business needs or new opportunities.
Overall, managing security in a VDC is simpler than protecting a traditional data center. You do not need to worry about physical security.
As far as IT-level security goes, companies with a VDC can set up distinct security policies for different use cases, approaches, and protection requirements. A smart and strategic cloud security policy can also help ensure that VDC-related tasks do not place valuable data and apps at risk.
Most providers support clients with different cyber security services. A typical vendor offers disaster recovery and business continuity services that will allow you to make the most out of VM snapshots.
Employees must access business databases, software, and resources that may distribute around corporate offices as more organizations transition to a remote workforce. Mobility of data is becoming an increasingly critical requirement. Inability to obtain information promptly may result in lost revenue, delayed product growth, and even dissatisfied customers.
Cloud-based computing environments are designed for scalability. Any company experiencing high levels of growth should consider implementing a virtualized data center. A virtual data center maximizes a business’s ability to scale to meet the increased resource demands of a growing business with the just-in-time allocation of bandwidth, storage capacity, and other IT resources.
It’s also a good fit for companies that experience seasonal increases in business activity. During peak times, virtualized memory, processing power, and storage can be added at a lesser cost and in a faster timeframe than purchasing and installing components on a physical machine. Then, when demand slows, virtual resources can be scaled down, removing unnecessary expenses.
Why Virtual Data Centers are useful
Now that you know what virtualization data centers are, it’s worthwhile to have an understanding of what makes them valuable.
The great thing about virtual data centers is that, because resources are shared, you’re always allotted the correct amount. When you use an app or program that requires a lot of computing power, you’re able to access it. When you don’t need power, you don’t use it. That means that you’re only paying for what you need and when you need it.
Virtual Data Centers are a natural outcome of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model of computing. With their low cost of entry and ability to easily integrate with existing IT infrastructure, VDCs are ideal for any business looking to go digital.