What Is Involved in Server and Desktop Virtualisation?

When you work in the Melbourne IT support industry, you tend to come across a fairly common type in management and other business circles: The Just Enough to be Dangerous person. This person knows a little bit about the computer world and IT, and likes to show off that knowledge, but they’re usually much less knowledgeable than they think – they know, in other words, just enough to be dangerous.

You can spot these folks by the vaguely wise expression they adopt when you use a term or reference they don’t actually know or understand. Rather than simply admit that they have no idea what you mean, they nod knowingly and say nothing, hoping you’ll educate them in your next statement so they can claim they understood all along. One of the most common areas that elicits this knowing expression is when the topic of virtualisation comes up, because so few people really understand the difference between desktop and server virtualisation.

IT support Melbourne: Desktop Virtualisation

Desktop virtualisation is an incredibly useful setup that can benefit any company of any size. The way it works is simple: There are no desktops, in the sense that your employees don’t have bulky computers on or under their desks containing a hard drive and linked in to a server in another room. Instead, they have what we call ‘dummy terminal’ which are glorified monitors, or they connect to the server with their laptops or home computers. The server then displays for them a desktop, familiar to anyone who has worked on a computer – it looks and feels just like a regular computer experience, but instead of a physical computer space they have a virtual one contained on the server.

The advantages are many: Lower hardware costs, because you don’t have to buy and maintain desktop computers; complete control over the experience and environment of your employees; complete control over the data they generate; simplified and easy upgrades to both operating systems and applications.

IT support Melbourne: Server Virtualisation

Server virtualisation, on the other hand, is a little different. A virtual server is typically a physical server that has been divided, via software, so that it acts as several servers contained within one physical space. Each server acts independently, but is composed solely of separate software, not separate disks.

The advantage here is obvious to anyone working in IT support in Melbourne: All of your users can work within whatever environment they prefer – different operating systems, file systems, or other software preferences. Plus, as with desktop virtualisation, hardware costs are minimised because you can have several separate servers, each with their own rules and preferences, set up within the physical confines of one server – as opposed to purchasing and maintaining two, three, or more physical servers.

In the Melbourne IT support game, it’s all about having your equipment work for you, not against you. Virtualisation is a great way to make your hardware work twice as hard – or even three or four times as hard – without having to make any further capital investments in hardware.

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