What is Virtualization/Virtual Machines?
Virtualization is essentially just creating a virtual version of a product or device; it can be, either, hardware or software. You can set up a virtual machine (VM) that can run a Windows operating system or one that runs a Windows Server. But those are just a few examples. You can run any operating system or any software on a VM. VMs act just like a normal device that is physically in front of you. The only difference, is that instead of having to buy or assemble hardware, you can just use software to run a VM on a device that you already have. All you need to run a VM is a type of software. This software is usually referred to as a hypervisor.
Hypervisors allocate the resources on a physical machine in order to run multiple VMs off the single physical device. VMs have been around for a while now, but are now starting to be seen in having practicality of utilizing this resource in a workplace.
Benefits of Virtualization
There are many benefits to virtualization. The primary and most beneficial of going with the virtual route is cost. Virtualization eliminates the costs for both purchasing new devices and maintaining those devices. There is no longer a risk of the hardware for that device failing when you decide to use a VM, you only have to worry about the host’s hardware. As far as the upfront capital, you only need to purchase software to run the VMs, so you will end up saving money because you won’t have to pay for each physical device.
Another benefit of virtualization is for testing/tinkering purposes. VMs are a great way to test new software or applications if you don’t want to run the risk of accidentally breaking a deployed and active device. VMs act just like a physical device would, except it is more difficult to hurt the machine. Because of this, it is a great way to test things that you aren’t sure about or just want to test a new service.
Virtualization also offers quick recovery times and downtimes. Each company or organization usually employs some sort of disaster recovery plan (DRP). Within a DRP, you have rules or steps to follow in order to help minimize downtime and get your organization back up and running as quick as possible. Virtualization helps with this because there is no need to troubleshoot hardware issues over multiple devices or struggle to recover missing items. With virtualization, you can make a direct copy of a VM or even create multiple VMs in the beginning in order to keep your organization’s services running uninterrupted.
Security should be a concern for all parts of an organization and virtualization is no exception. Security for a VM or multiple VMs would be applied the same way that you would secure a standard physical device. The host of the VMs or the software running them, would need to be connected to a firewall to protect that device from potentially harmful or unwanted traffic. Alongside the firewall, anti-virus or endpoint security should also be placed on the host in order to help identify and mitigate any risks.
Firestorm Cyber and Virtualization
Firestorm Cyber can help with virtualization in many ways. Primarily, we can offer top grade security through our Sophos Firewall devices and Sophos Endpoint Protection. With the combination of these two security measures your devices, physical or virtual, will be protected from malicious activity.
Alongside the security, Firestorm Cyber also offers device management services. We can help you with any problems that you might run into on your device. Our device management service allows us to remote into your devices so we can help you to identify and solve whatever issue you are having from wherever you are.