Virtualisation is one of the technology trends that are shaping the future of business. Not only does it transform the economics and management of IT infrastructures by making them more flexible, it eliminates hardware dependency, drive the cloud revolution and completely transforms enterprise networks.
What is virtualisation and how is it implemented in business networks?
This concept refers to a technology that uses software to create virtual resources that are run on abstract layers of hardware.
In other words, virtualisation allows a computing environment to run several independent systems, the so-called virtual machines. These are run simultaneously, sharing the same physical IT infrastructure, while being managed by an additional software interface known as a hypervisor.
This technology enables the creation of a virtual computing environment with several virtual machines, thus maximising the resources of a system and optimising performance. In addition, each can be assigned key management resources (memory, storage units, processor, etc.) and the operating system that will drive them.
This means using fewer servers to run more applications. Even if several resources are running, none will affect the performance of the others or the main virtual machine.
According to research results from SpiceWorks, presented in 2020, virtualisation adoption is seen primarily in servers, but its use goes beyond that and is expected to see a double-digit increase in desktop, application, storage, data and networking deployments by 2022.
This last application, network virtualisation, is reinventing the way we deliver services, from the software-defined data centre (SDDC) to the cloud and the edge, while bringing useful benefits that is speeding up its adoption.
Benefits of network virtualisation for business networks
Taking the above into account, we can say that network virtualisation refers to the creation of virtual machines for storing, analysing and managing business network data, which are split into several layers and act differently and independently within the system.
Thus, according to the SpiceWorks report, the increasing adoption of network virtualisation technology is justified by IT decision–makers, citing significant benefits:
- More flexibility with network configuration (51%).
- Improved management capabilities (48%).
- Ability to reconfigure networks without physical changes (46%).
- Improved security capabilities (45%).
- More control over network segmentation (39%).
- Cost savings (33%), by reducing the physical infrastructure and associated costs of multiple server power consumption, maintenance and upgrades.
- Benefits of automation (33%), which indirectly boost productivity and give the IT team more time to perform other high-impact tasks for the technological development of the company.
In addition, there are other important benefits of network virtualisation, such as:
Availability of increased user mobility
Network virtualisation allows us to enter information from anywhere using a device connected to the Internet. This is indispensable for companies with limited physical space that operate with interconnected units located in different cities and rely on mobility of access, meaning they can execute their tasks without the need to be physically in the same network environment.
Minimisation of errors
When working with physical networks, major hardware failures may occur, caused by lack of compatibility, which affect the normal running of processes and thus company performance.
Virtual networks, on the other hand, are compatible with the many operating systems and hardware options available on the market, which means fewer errors associated with incompatibility.
Once we know what virtualisation is, how it is extrapolated to networks and what its advantages are, its implementation becomes more attractive. This technology can be used by companies of any size. The important thing, when implementing them, is to make a thorough needs, costs and benefits analysis.
Telefónica is currently working on the ÚNICA project, which pursues end-to-end virtualisation and orchestration of the network. It can provide the necessary consulting to implement the service as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.