Why Convert a Physical Machine to Virtual Machine
Our technical infrastructure has undergone a lot of significant changes during the last decade or two. Virtualization is a technology that many people take for granted today.
Not long ago, running more than a few Virtual Machines on a single system was difficult. Those days are over, as virtualization has been ingrained in virtually every aspect of computing.
As hardware becomes obsolete, businesses can choose to update or adopt P2V. This week, I’d want to discuss why you might want to convert your actual machine to a Virtual Machine.
If used effectively, virtualization may save you a lot of time and effort. True, some components of your infrastructure should not be virtualized. I agree with most of this article’s points. But, in most circumstances, the advantages exceed the drawbacks. Performance is mentioned as a reason not to convert. That’s still true, but getting less so.
Let’s take a look at some cases in which you should consider P2V.
The more physical servers you can virtualize, the better. Dual- and quad-CPU servers provide terabytes or more RAM. So a single server can now manage more VMs than before. It just doesn’t make sense to keep investing in obsolete gear.
Better to invest in high-performance servers with plenty of RAM. Storage possibilities are plenty. I’ve observed RAM degrade VMs, so avoid inexpensive boards that only allow four DIMMs.
One misconception I’d like to clarify is that you can convert your virtual machine back to a physical one. I’ve had people tell me that’s not possible, but they are mistaken. I worked with a company that needed to migrate a virtual machine to a physical device at a new location.
The V2P process takes some time and isn’t without hiccups, but it can be done. Another reason you may need to roll back a Virtual Machine is for licensing reasons. Some software companies had made it difficult to license VMs, but the market has improved lately.
Today’s servers have many RAM slots. Perfect to handle VMs
When you’re ready to begin, I recommend starting with a system that’s not critical to your company. Document the process. Include what went well and what didn’t. You don’t need to convert six physical servers over the weekend. Start with one. Get it working to your satisfaction, and let it run a while. And then do another.
For some IT managers, performance is a concern. And they have a point in extreme performance. However, many servers providing files or hosting databases may benefit from a VM. That’s probably the case if you haven’t upgraded your physical server in a while.
Your VM may operate quicker on upgraded hardware with increased processing power and RAM. You can at least convert and compare the two. Virtual environments are designed to require little resources. This may also improve VM performance. Hopefully, your most vital systems aren’t on an old computer. But if you are, try moving to a different VM. I think you’ll be astonished by the show.
Reduced Server Footprint
Consolidating actual computers into VMs makes sense if you’re short on space. When retiring outdated or legacy gear, this is a wonderful moment to consider it. Making a Virtual Machine hardware-independent may help IT. Consolidating physical locations simplifies and improves backup and disaster recovery. In short, consolidation simplifies IT management.
Consolidating systems not only saves space but also results in future hardware requirements being reduced. Additionally, you will save on electricity and maintenance expenditures. Some may argue that having fewer servers to handle will result in IT headcount reductions. That is a possibility but very improbable.
Management is more likely to reinvest the savings from consolidation in training and tools for your team. I’ve heard similar concerns regarding the cloud. There is little question that information technology is evolving, and you will need to adapt. This entails developing new talents. Allow yours to get out-of-date.
Creating a Test Environment
Your developers are probably already running multiple VMs on which they test their code. Maybe you’re doing the same. If not, you should consider setting up a test environment. This allows you to test new software and component changes before they can cause issues with your live environment.
If you run into problems, you can roll back to a backup of your machine instead of rebuilding Windows or Linux. This can be especially helpful if an employee comes to you and demands to use untested software while on the company’s network. Virtual Machine allows you to test it out before granting permission. If you don’t already have a VM test environment, you might be surprised by how often you use it.
These are just a few of the reasons you should consider converting a physical machine to a Virtual Machine. I know a lot of people wait until it’s nearly too late. They figure they’ll wait until their aging system bites the dust before they take up the task.
An old system may be turned into a Virtual Machine. I won’t underestimate the hazards since they exist. But waiting for the old system to expire makes a bad situation worse. Consider virtualizing aged or legacy hardware as soon as possible. Moving files or an extensive database from an outdated hard drive to an SSD may make a massive difference in speed. We’ve had virtual machine RAM allocation for aeons. With Intel’s newest high-core CPUs, you can. GPU acceleration has gone a long way in recent years.
Although few corporate applications will benefit from the acceleration capabilities included in the newest graphics processing units (GPUs) from NVIDIA and AMD, many audiovisual, scientific, and engineering applications will benefit from them.
I hope this article has helped you understand what a virtual machine is and why it’s beneficial to transform your actual computer into a virtual machine.