This definition explains the meaning of virtualisation. Many Australian businesses have cheap, subpar servers and desktops that don’t meet their computing requirements. Virtualisation is a solution that provides the benefit of hi-tech hardware, without all the costs. Now, even small companies can afford enterprise-level computers.

Typically, operating systems are installed on hardware that users have physical access to. Without the right software, one computer can have only one Operating System (OS). This is a problem when you need servers with a few different operating systems. In addition, some servers, like email servers, will use only a fraction of their hardware capacity, which translates to wasted resources.

Virtualisation allows a server to act and perform like many computers. A hypervisor enables you to install as many OS or ‘instances’ as you want on one server, provided you have enough storage space and processing power. So instead of buying several low-cost, low-quality servers to run different operating systems, you can purchase one high-powered server that provides all the computing power that a business needs. This frees up space in server rooms and dramatically cuts the time and money spent maintaining and managing IT infrastructure.

There are several ways virtualisation can improve resource utilisation, but four strategies are beneficial for Australian small businesses.

    1. Desktop virtualisation
    2. Application virtualisation
    3. Storage virtualisation
    4. Network virtualisation