Would your business benefit if your server became
- More reliable?
- Cheaper to run?
- Readily expandable to cater for future needs?
- Always up to date with the latest software versions?
- Protected by an effective disaster recovery plan?
Then you have no reason not to go Virtual with 24/7!
A brief history
The concept of virtualisation goes back to the 1960’s when IBM developed and began shipping the first virtual computers. Huge operational benefits were found to be gained from the separation of the application software from the underlying hardware but for more than 40 years the cost of implementation kept the technology exclusive to those that could afford it.
The past 5 years has seen competitive moves by the major technology vendors culminating in several free to use Hypervisor products, effectively releasing the power of virtualisation to everyone. Traditionally the rationale behind virtualisation has been the consolidation of a range of application servers and data onto one physical box to save space, energy, administrative effort and money.
This means nothing to a small business running Microsoft SBS but when you look other attributes such as greatly increased efficiency and availability you can begin to see what is on offer.
How would server downtime affect your business?
Published research by leading analysts suggests that disruption caused by system downtime can irreparably damage the reputation of a business and 50% of those that suffer disruption as a result of data loss can go out of business within two years. This may sound a bit over the top but when you consider how modern businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on the office computer system you can see that doing without it, even for a few days, is almost unthinkable.
How can virtualisation help?
We have developed a number of solutions designed to improve availability and ensure that your network will always be up to date with technology.
24/7 Snapshot Technology
Downtime resulting from a failed server has traditionally been measured in days but the application of Snapshot Technology can dramatically reduce this time in most cases to a couple of hours avoiding the problems encountered during a lengthy recovery process.
Snapshot Technology involves taking a ‘snapshot’ of the existing server, virtualising it and re-applying the resulting image to the same hardware.
The majority of server failures are software related so the virtual server image can be quickly reapplied to the functioning hardware but a catastrophic hardware failure could still spell disaster due to the lengthy delay in sourcing replacement parts or a complete new server. This is taken care of by the Disaster Recovery element of Snapshot Technology whereby we can deploy the virtual server image in the 24/7 IT Solutions Cloud and provide access via the Internet ensuring business continuity.
This simple low cost approach to Disaster Recovery can prove highly effective on a reasonably up to date specification of server hardware however when the server is simply too old to cope and is need of a complete refresh it may be time to consider moving to a private or public cloud solution.
24/7 Private Virtual Network (PVN)
PVN is a pay-as-you-go private cloud solution running on hardware located in the office and software rented on a monthly basis. Virtualisation technology is used to improve server availability and dramatically reduce downtime following a failure. Combined with an unobtrusive state of the art backup solution a typical network recovery time of two or three hours is achievable rather than the traditional two or three days.
The PVN solution offers an opportunity to save money at the same time as improving the company’s ‘green credentials’ with the use of optional virtual desktops and eco-friendly Thin Client devices.
Thin Clients are not essential to the system but used in place of PC’s they cost 60% less to buy and consume 80% less electricity saving around £40 per year per device in running costs. If saving the planet is not a priority, virtual desktops can be accessed by old PC’s essentially revitalising them to extend their useful life.
- A stable and reliable network
- Minimal downtime following failure
- Automated offsite backup and restore
- Anti-Virus protection
- Low up-front setup costs
- Flexible monthly software rental adjusted each month to track staff movements
- Use of latest versions of Microsoft software at all times
- Remote access to the full office desktop from home (optional)
- Software maintenance and support
- Disaster recovery
24/7 Cloud Virtual Network (CVN)
CVN is a pay-as-you-go public cloud solution running on hardware located in our datacentre and accessed via the Internet. Software is again paid for on a monthly basis but there is a minimum contract period of 12 months. CVN is a fully managed solution providing users with virtual Windows 7 desktops and access to the software applications that they need.
Being in the cloud, the server hardware is removed from the office reducing electricity consumption by approximately £700 per year and eliminating the administrative headache of keeping it running. There is also an additional opportunity to save money and improve the company’s ‘green credentials’ with the use of eco-friendly Thin Client devices.
Thin Clients are not essential to the system but used in place of PC’s they cost 60% less to buy and consume 80% less electricity saving around £40 per year per device in running costs. Virtual desktops can be accessed by old PC’s essentially revitalising them to extend their useful life.
- Large savings on electricity costs
- Greatly reduced security risk against hardware theft and loss of data
- Low up-front setup costs
- Flexible Contract: minimum 12 months followed by a rolling quarterly renewal
- Remote access to the desktop from home or anywhere with suitable internet access
- Access to Microsoft application software on a monthly rental
- Use the latest software versions throughout life of Contract
- Add / remove PC's and software applications at the end of each month to track staff movements
- Add PC's for temporary staff: minimum 1 month period
- Evaluate new software applications on test PC’s prior to deployment
- Comprehensive Anti-Virus, Malware and Threat protection
- Automatic Backup and Restore
- Built-in Disaster Recovery
- Full maintenance and support