(The Hosting News) – One of the most important trends in IT for small and medium-sized businesses is the use of virtualization to centralize data storage and increase overall network performance. If your business uses a shared or local hosting solution, you may have heard a number of sales pitches detailing why a virtual server is a better solution than a more traditional option. While there is a great deal of hype currently surrounding the virtual market, virtual private servers (VPS) do offer a number of substantial benefits over the use of a shared server option.
A VPS functions by creating a virtualized “layer” between the hardware of a server and its operating system. This layer allows the server to be divided into slices that can be used by multiple tenants, each of which can install operating systems and applications without interfering with others on the server. One of the most common ways that this dividing takes place is by the use of a hypervisor – a program which manages virtual servers by creating partitions, which are logically separated from each other in a system. One parent partition is required and then multiple child partitions can be created, each of which may be occupied by a different tenant.
Hyper-V and the Virtual Server
The most popular hypervisor on the market is made by Microsoft and is called Hyper-V. It was released in 2008 and a Hyper-V VPS can function either on its own or come as part of a package with Windows 2008 R2. A Hyper-V VPS allows for the detailed management of resources on a virtual system, meaning that things I/O and bandwidth use are continually monitored in order to maximize performance. The nature of the partition created by Hyper-V in a virtual private server also means that while tenants on the server have access to resources, all access is virtual – they cannot directly access the physical process or deal with real interrupts. This means that while users on a Hyper-V VPS can scale up their resources as necessary, they cannot perform actions that would damage the stability of the entire server or reduce performance for other users.
The Combination with Windows 2008 R2
While Hyper-V can be run as a standalone server, a Windows 2008 VPS in combination with this hypervisor can offer a number of advantages for your business. These come mainly through the features offered by Windows 2008 R2 such as live migration and failover clustering. Live migration allows an entire virtual server to be moved between different physical machines without first stopping the application, while failover clustering (also known as high availability or HA) allows groups of redundant computers to provide continued service even if system components fail. In combination with Hyper-V, a Windows 2008 R2 VPS can also be a viable link to the cloud, which is the next step in fully virtualizing a system. Instead of relying on a single server to provide service for a hosted system, the cloud focuses on using multiple, redundant systems to ensure continued performance, and a Hyper-V/Windows 2008 solution provides an easy access point for your business to transition from virtual technology to a public, private or hybrid cloud.
Virtual server technology is rapidly evolving, and maximizing your IT dollars means finding a solution that not only provides performance by scalability. Windows 2008 R2 in concert with the Hyper-V hypervisor acts as a solution that gives total isolation on a server while still letting you enjoy the benefits of live migration of services and HA failover clusters in order to yield the greatest amount of stability.