Problems with Virtual Servers and How to Overcome Them

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Problems with Virtual Servers and How to Overcome Them

Virtual servers are convenient with cost-effective solutions for businesses hosting multiple websites, applications, and services. However, managing a virtual server can be challenging and complex, as many issues can often arise. Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies that can be employed to help mitigate the risks and problems associated with virtual servers.

Virtualization also makes it easy to move workloads between physical servers, giving IT managers more flexibility in deploying their applications.

More than 90% of enterprises already utilize server virtualization, and many more are investigating desktop, application, and storage virtualization.

While it has increased many organizations’ IT efficiency, virtualization has also become the primary target of some challenges. Unfortunately, this alone can lead to a domino effect of unexpected disasters.

By understanding the common issues and implementing the right solutions, businesses can ensure that their virtual servers are running optimally and securely.

Let’s discuss some of the vulnerabilities found within virtualized servers.

 

What are Virtual Servers?

Virtual servers are a subset of server farms; groups of physical servers sharing the same resources. Virtual servers use software to split a single physical server into multiple virtual servers.

Virtual servers are beneficial when you rent multiple servers from a Hosting Service Provider (HSP) but don’t want to spend the money to purchase and maintain dedicated hardware for each one. You can also use virtual servers to reduce downtime by moving a running application from one machine to another during maintenance or upgrades.

 

Major Problems with Virtual Server

A virtual server provides many benefits to organizations. However, it also has some disadvantages that you should consider before adopting this technology:

Repartitioning of a Virtualized System

A virtual machine can be repartitioned and resized only within its allocated resources. If the physical host has insufficient resources, it is impossible to increase or decrease the size of the virtual machine.

Backward Compatibility

Virtualization makes backward compatibility difficult. This is because while installing an operating system within a virtual environment, it is impossible to know whether it will work. Furthermore, installing more than one operating system on a single hardware platform is also next to impossible.

Reviving Outdated Environments as Virtual Machines

Another major problem with virtual servers is that they need to allow you to revive outdated environments as virtual machines. For example, suppose your company uses Windows 95 or 98, and they’re no longer supported by Microsoft (i.e., no updates). In that case, these operating systems won’t be operable once they stop getting updates from Microsoft’s website or other sources online.

Degraded Performance

When you run multiple applications on a single physical server, performance can be degraded because each application will have its dedicated resources. In a virtual environment, you share resources among all the running applications, so one application may take up more than its fair share of resources and slow down the others.

Complex Root Cause Analysis

If there’s an issue with your virtual server, it can be challenging to determine which application or process is causing the problem. This makes it hard to identify what needs to be fixed and how long it will take.

Security

Security is another primary concern with virtualization. When all your applications run on one machine, there’s no need for network segmentation or firewalls. But, once you start moving them into separate VMs and sharing resources across those VMs, you will need more controls to ensure each VM only has access to what it needs.

Licensing Compliance

In virtual environments, you can easily exceed your license limits. For example, suppose you have two physical servers with one processor each and want to migrate them into a single virtual environment.

In that case, your license will be exceeded by two processors. This is because you will have more than one processor in one host operating system but still only one license key for that OS (Operating System). As a result, you may need to upgrade your license or purchase another one from the vendor.

Magnified Physical Failures

Virtualization is designed to allow multiple operating systems on one physical machine, but if there’s a problem with one OS, it could bring down the entire system. This magnifies the impact of any physical failure in the server room or data center — from hard drives failing to power outages — which can result in downtime for your business or lost revenue due to downtime in the applications and services provided.

Changing Target Virtualization Environment

With the help of virtualization software like VMware Fusion & vSphere, users can migrate their physical servers into virtual ones without any difficulty. But you change your target virtualization environment. In that case, the entire process will become complicated because you must create a new virtual machine using another virtualization software or hardware platform. This may cause data loss and system downtime due to migration failure or incompatibility between old and new platforms.

 

Problems-with-Virtual-Servers-and-How-to-Solve-Them MiddleVirtual Server Management Best Practices

The good news is that you can manage your virtual server infrastructure quickly and efficiently with the right tools and processes.

Here are some virtual server management best practices to consider:

Patch Servers Regularly: Patch your servers frequently to keep them up to date with the latest security updates and fixes.

Use vSphere High Availability (HA): Use vSphere HA to protect virtual machines from failure by restarting them on alternate hosts if a host fails. vSphere HA is essential for cloud computing environments where multiple customers share resources on a single cluster.

Monitor Your Virtual Servers Regularly: Monitor the performance of your virtual machines by collecting metrics from vSOM and other tools.

Automate Routine Tasks: Automate routine tasks such as power operations, cloning, patching, and updating templates so that you can perform these operations quickly and accurately when needed without having to spend time doing them manually every time they’re required.

Use Templates to Reduce Errors During Deployments: If you have a lot of virtual servers and want to deploy similar configurations across all of them, use templates instead of manually configuring each one individually. This will save time and reduce errors when deploying new services on new machines.

 

Final Words

Virtual servers are an excellent solution for setting up a new website or redesigning an existing one. But because they remove you from the picture, some problems can’t be foreseen, and many of the issues come down to the admin doing something wrong. However, with some best practices and lessons learned, your virtual server environment can serve its purpose without being a headache.

Protected Harbor is one of the most trusted companies in the US regarding virtual servers and cloud services, as recognized by Goodfirms. With years of experience, we have become a reliable source for businesses that rely on their virtual servers as the backbone of their operations. Moreover, we also offer high-quality customer support and technical assistance, often making us stand out from the competition. Furthermore, our commitment to security and privacy has made us one of the top choices for virtual servers. All in all, Protected Harbor is the ideal partner when it comes to virtual servers and cloud services.

Contact us today if you’re looking for reliable cloud computing or large-scale protection.

Deploying Servers in a Virtualized Environment

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Deploying Servers in a Virtualized Environment

The term “virtualization” can seem a little perplexing. It’s something that the business world is going crazy over, but something you’ve never entirely understood.

Currently valued at between 40 and 60 billion dollars, the worldwide virtualization software market is anticipated to reach at least 120 billion dollars over the coming years. ~Statista

Virtualization is a technology that may be used for virtually all types of IT infrastructure, including servers, PCs, networks, storage, data, applications, data centers, CPUs, and GPUs. Virtualization is thus a crucial component of cloud computing.

Whether you’re deploying new servers or additional instances, it’s a good idea to know how to do it right. In the past, deploying servers required having three separate tools: one for deploying the operating system, one for installing the database, and another for installing all the other services. With virtualization, all those tasks are combined into one or two tools. The result is a streamlined process that is both quicker and easier.

What is Virtualization in a Cloud Environment?

Virtualization is the process of creating a virtual version of an existing system. This virtual copy can be executed as an independent machine or performed on the current hardware.

Cloud computing is built on top of virtualization technology and has become one of the most popular trends in IT over the last decade.

Virtualization allows you to deploy multiple instances of an application or operating system in a single physical server. This means we can use fewer physical servers while still serving more customers, reducing our hardware costs, power consumption, and cooling needs. In addition, it also allows us to easily manage our computing resources by allowing us to move them between servers as needed without disrupting services for clients or internal users.

Benefits of Deploying Servers in a Virtualized Environment

The benefits of deploying servers in a virtualized environment are substantial. For example, virtualization companies can save money by consolidating their servers and reducing hardware costs. They can also benefit from more flexible hardware that allows them to deploy and remove servers as needed quickly.

In 2020, it was predicted that the virtualization software market would be worth $38.7 billion.

It is projected to reach $149.4 billion by the conclusion of the analysis period, which runs from 2020 to 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4%.

The benefits of Deploying Servers in a Virtualized Environment include the following:

Protection from Failure and Disaster

When you have your data stored on physical servers, one failure can cause all your data to be lost or inaccessible. By using virtualization technology, you can create multiple copies of your server and store them in different locations. If one location fails, you still have access to your data through another location. This is especially useful if you have important data that must be kept safe.

Lower Costs

Virtualized servers can reduce your costs because they use fewer physical servers, which means fewer servers to purchase and maintain. Additionally, the lower price of virtualization software can offset these savings. Still, even if you have to pay more upfront, it will quickly pay itself over time as your IT environment becomes more efficient and stable.

Reduced IT Footprint

Virtualized environments require less space than traditional physical environments because they don’t need as many racks or cabinets. This can significantly reduce the space required to support your users and data centers. It also makes it easier to scale up or down as needed without spending money on additional hardware or software licenses.

Risk-Free Testing

Virtualization allows you to test new hardware, operating systems, and applications without risk affecting your production environment. This is especially important when you’re adopting new technology. Virtualization allows you to test the waters before committing. In addition, it makes it easier to move between different hardware vendors and operating systems without significant changes to management processes.

Security

Data security is another area where virtualization technology excels. With physical servers, there are only so many ways to protect them from hackers looking to steal sensitive information. With virtual servers, however, each instance can be covered with its firewalls and other security measures, making it much more difficult for hackers to access sensitive data stored within these instances.

Ease of Data Transfer

A cloud environment consists of multiple data centers connected via high-speed networks. The data center where your virtual machine resides can be anywhere in the world as long as it is connected to the internet. You can quickly move your virtual machine from one cloud data center to another without having to move it yourself physically.

Simplified Data Center Management

Virtualized servers make it easy for you to manage your data center. You don’t need to worry about managing individual servers or installing updates because everything is managed at the hypervisor level. This also means that you don’t need to hire specialized IT staff members with expertise in managing servers and networking equipment — all you need is someone who can manage virtual machines using a console or command line interface (CLI).

Deploying-Servers-in-a-Virtualized-Environment-Middle-imageCommon Challenges of Deploying Servers in Virtualized Environment

Organizations are adopting virtualization to reduce costs and improve agility. However, there are many challenges associated with virtualization that can impact the success of your virtual environment.

Here are some common challenges organizations face when deploying servers in a virtualized environment:

Resource distribution: It is challenging to plan for resource distribution in a virtualized environment because of its dynamic nature. For example, if you have 100 VMs on a physical host, it is difficult to predict which VMs will run at any given time and how much CPU or memory they need. This makes it challenging to plan for resource distribution upfront.

VM Sprawl – If not appropriately managed, VM sprawl can lead to increased costs and security risks due to raised attack surfaces on the network. Organizations must implement policies that allow them to manage VM sprawl before it becomes unmanageable.

Overrun storage network – With flexible deployment options like VMware DRS and vMotion, organizations can quickly move VMs around physical hosts without worrying about breaking applications. However, this can also lead to problems when multiple VMs try to push data through the same storage network simultaneously, as there may need to be more bandwidth available for all of them.

Final Words

Virtualized environments are becoming incredibly popular, both among hosting providers and customers. However, only some people are familiar with deploying servers in a virtualized environment.

Protected Harbor offers expert services for the cloud in a virtualized environment. We provide full support throughout the process so that you can ensure that all aspects of deployment are done professionally and efficiently. We will help you to set up virtual machines, migrate your data, and set up security. We will also assist you with ongoing management and troubleshooting of any issues with your virtual environment.

We also offer various services like data backup, disaster recovery, and network monitoring. Pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop for all your technology needs, whether hardware or software. With our team of experts on board, we can easily tackle any of your technology issues. Whether you are looking for a new data center or want to migrate your system to the cloud, we are here to help.

We want to be your go-to resource for all things cloud, so please do not hesitate to ask questions and receive expert advice to help you make the most of this valuable technology. Get a free cloud consultation today.

Why Is Scalable Infrastructure Important and What Does It Entail?

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What is Scalable Infrastructure and Why is it Important?

While business owners and leaders often focus on the immediate aspects of their business, it is also essential to work on the company’s long-term viability. One of the most critical components of this is the scalable IT infrastructure.

Scalability is more than just moving to the cloud. It involves building an inherently stable system. Future development and expansion are made more straightforward to manage and safer for your business when scalability is incorporated as an essential component of your current infrastructure.

Effective IT operations and management depend on a stable IT infrastructure which is why companies should never undervalue its significance as this can lead to your business suffering if your data is ever exposed due to your system needing to be either fixed or maintained.

You can have an amazing product developed by a dedicated group of developers. However, if your technology isn’t up to the task, you will waste money on resources and fail to realize returns on marketing and development efforts.

Continue reading to find out what a solid IT infrastructure involves and why your company needs to prioritize it.

Scalable IT Infrastructure – An Overview

A scalable IT infrastructure is based on the idea that you can reduce the cost of operations by reducing your physical footprint when it’s not needed.

In the upcoming years, public cloud services are anticipated to represent a more significant portion of cloud infrastructure spending, reaching nearly 46% by 2024. ~Statista

You might have fewer servers, storage systems, or employees working within your data center. But, when you need more capacity, it’s easy to add back in these necessities and increase your use of the cloud.

Achieving this type of flexibility requires careful planning and management of your hardware, software, and applications so that they’re able to scale up or down without disrupting service delivery. A good example would be having multiple layers of redundancy built into your storage system so that if one component fails, another can take over seamlessly without any noticeable impact on users accessing their data.

Reasons for Having a Scalable Infrastructure

There are many reasons to have a scalable infrastructure, such as:

Growth

The most important reason is growth, which can happen in two different ways:

  • Growth of your company or business
  • Growth of your users or customer base

Growth is inevitable, and you need to be ready for it. You can’t just build an application and expect it to work forever without any changes.

Cyclical Demand

The second reason is cyclical demand. It means that there are times when more people use your application than others. An example of this could be heightened traffic during the holidays. To handle this situation, you will need a scalable infrastructure that can handle increased demand without sacrificing performance.

What is Scalable Infrastructure and Why is it Important middleWhy is IT Infrastructure Important for Businesses?

It’s no longer enough to have just a good product or service. The competition amongst businesses is fierce, and it’s not enough to be just good. You need to be great, which means having an infrastructure supporting your business.

Businesses need reliable IT infrastructure to operate efficiently and effectively.

The following are some of the reasons why having this IT infrastructure is crucial for businesses:

Productivity

The first reason you should invest in your infrastructure is that it will help to increase the productivity of your employees. The more efficient your employees are, the more work they can do in less time. This means that they will be able to get more done every day, which leads to an increase in revenue for your business.

Security

Another reason why infrastructure is critical is that it helps protect your data from cyber-attacks.

By 2025, experts predict that cybercrimes, such as phishing scams, spyware, ransomware, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks on small and large businesses, will total $10.5 trillion yearly.

If you don’t have a sound security system, hackers can easily break into your network, steal customer information, or even eradicate data. This can lead to devastating consequences for your company, so you must have a robust security system.

Compliance

Businesses must ensure that they comply with industry regulations, standards, and legal requirements such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act) and SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act). An efficient infrastructure will allow businesses to quickly meet compliance requirements without negatively impacting their operations or productivity.

Efficiency

A company’s employees will be more efficient if they have access to an adequate infrastructure. For example, if you have an employee who works from home and needs access to your company’s servers or databases, you must ensure they can access them both quickly and easily. An inadequate infrastructure would lead to slow access times and frustration on both ends of the spectrum. Having an adequate infrastructure in place will ensure that your employees can access all necessary data efficiently, leading to happier employees!

Benefits of IT Infrastructure

The major benefits of a scalable IT infrastructure are:

Greater Ease of IT Operations

IT infrastructure is the foundation upon which all other components and services are built. Without it, there would be no way to perform the tasks that support an organization’s mission. This includes introductory emails and office productivity applications to complex ERP systems and CRM solutions. Considering how much time and money is spent on IT infrastructure today, it becomes apparent that any operational efficiency improvement will significantly impact a company’s bottom line.

Reduced Overall Capital and Operating Expenses

Since no upfront costs are associated with hosting your IT infrastructure with Cloud providers, your overall operating expenses can be significantly reduced. Your IT budget will also become easier to manage because it will no longer include capital expenses such as hardware purchases or upgrades and maintenance contracts for servers, storage devices, network equipment, and more.

Flexible Pricing Model

Cloud providers offer more flexible pricing models than traditional enterprise software companies because they don’t have to build physical infrastructures like data centers or server farms. They just have to buy enough capacity from their suppliers (e.g., Amazon Web Services) to offer customers the best prices possible.

Final Words

Focusing on scalability means you will not have to worry about the server’s ability to handle your website traffic or the potential of technical debt eating away at your budget. Scalable IT infrastructures are a good choice for scaling businesses and startups, especially in the beginning phases of growth.

Protected Harbor’s solution is designed to be a scalable, reliable, and flexible IT infrastructure optimized to support various data-centric workloads like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Business Intelligence, High-Performance Computing, and other data-centric workloads. Doing so enables enterprises and service providers to transform their businesses, drive new revenues and provide better, more efficient customer service.

Protected Harbor is here to serve as your reliable partner. We help keep your business secure without slowing you down by providing top-notch IT infrastructures that work for you. With real-time monitoring and capacity planning, integrated security, and on-demand scaling, our IT infrastructure or Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) is designed for data-intensive workloads and business-critical applications.

Get a free IT Audit today and learn why your business needs a highly scalable infrastructure without losing out on reliability and security.

Why Do My Servers Keep Crashing?

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Why Do My Servers Keep Crashing?

An organization’s worst fear is to have a server failure where essential data may be lost forever leaving your organization unable to function properly.

According to research, server failure rates rise noticeably as they age. The failure rate for a server within its first year is 5%, compared to a four-year-old server’s yearly failure frequency of 11%. Understanding server failure rates is helpful as it enables a more effective risk management as well as long-term planning for server administration and maintenance expenses.

Dealing with a server crash is never enjoyable. Users may encounter significant disruptions if a large company’s server collapses, resulting in significant financial loss. If your host’s server crashes and you are an individual with a single website, you are at the mercy of the host leaving you to pace away until the problem is fixed.

A server crashing is bound to happen at some point time so it’s a good thing to note what exactly a server crash is and why it happens.

What is a Server Crash?

A server crash is a catastrophic failure of a server that can affect the entire operation of a business as well as cause a severe financial loss. Server crashes usually occur when a server goes offline, preventing it from performing its tasks. There can be issues with the server’s numerous built-in services once it crashes. Additionally, the impact will be more significant, and the repercussions will be more severe because the server serves many customers.

  • Video Website: A significant accessibility issue within a video website makes it impossible to watch any online videos. It would be a catastrophe if the server’s data was lost and many writers’ original animations and movies could not be recovered.
  • Financial system: A rock-solid server is necessary for a financial plan that processes millions of transactions every second. Since everyone’s capital exchanges were impacted, the loss is incalculable.
  • Competitive games: There may be tens of millions of participants online for most popular and competitive games. There will undoubtedly be a lot of upset gamers if they were all disconnected from their beloved game.
    Why Do My Servers Keep Crashing middle

Reasons for Server Crash

A server may go down for various reasons, including occasionally, a single fault or multiple problems co-occurring at other times.

The following are the most typical reasons for server crashes:

  • Startup Failure: This is the most common reason for a server crash. When your server starts up, the code must run before it starts doing its job. If some of these steps fail, your server will not start properly.
  • A Software Error: The most common reason for a server crash is an application error, such as an unexpected exception or an operation that cannot be completed because of execution limits on the system.
  • A Hardware Failure (such as a power outage): If the cause of your crash is a power outage, there may be no way to recover without restoring your backup data. If this happens, you should contact your hosting service provider and ask them what steps they recommend to restore service.
  • Errors in Configuration Files or Other System Files: Sometimes errors occur in configuration files or other system files that result in incomplete or incorrect actions being taken by your application when it starts up, which can lead to crashes.
  • Security Vulnerabilities: Security vulnerabilities are typically caused by hackers, allowing them access into your server. If you have a secured server, you should not be worried about this problem as your server is well protected from hackers.
  • Overheating: If the server cannot keep itself cool, it will be unable to function correctly. If a server has an overheating problem, the system will shut down and restart itself. This may be caused by a faulty fan or power supply unit (PSU).
  • Virus Attacks: Viruses can cause server crashes in many ways. One way is that they can infect your server’s operating system or hardware and cause it to crash when it tries to process requests from the internet. Another way is that they make your computer run slowly and eventually crash, which causes fewer requests for content from your server and makes it more likely that its hard drive will run out of space and have to be replaced.
  • Expired Domain: Domain names are like URLs (uniform resource locators) for websites, but they have expiration dates set by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). When the expiration date passes, the domain name becomes available again, so any website using that domain must be changed manually. This can cause issues when your site goes offline due to a server crash because you no longer have access to the proper domain name.
  • Plug-in Error: This happens when a server gets stuck in some loop and cannot exit it because it gets stuck in an infinite loop. For example, if you have two routers connected with a switch between them, but only one router works appropriately while the other one doesn’t, then both will be affected by this issue. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure both routers have enough power or buy a new one.

Server Crashes: Numerous Causes, Numerous Solutions

No two servers are the same and they all tend to crash for a variety of reasons. While some of them we have slight control of, others are out of our hands. There are, nevertheless, precautions we may take to reduce the risk. Although they aren’t impenetrable precautions, they can mitigate end-user disruptions and downtime.

Your server and surrounding network may go down for either a few minutes or several hours, depending on the skill level of your hired IT team managing them. You can also partner with a server expert like Protected Harbor.

Protected Harbor takes care of server maintenance and upgrades to keep your systems running at peak efficiency. We have a team of engineers to look after your servers and data centers to keep them safe from threats like natural disasters, power outages, and physical or cyber security issues. We also monitor your networks to ensure that your systems are always connected to the internet and that your data is secured with maximum efficiency.

Our engineers are certified in troubleshooting a variety of server hardware and software. We also provide 24/7 tech support, ensuring that your critical applications stay up and running.

We offer a 99.99% SLA (Service Level Agreement) plus have a proven track record with clients of various industries from e-commerce and SaaS to healthcare clients. We offer flexible, scalable plans to suit your business needs.

Let our team of experts assess your current server setup and get a free report today.

What number of virtual computers can you run simultaneously?

how many virtual machines can you run at the same time

How Many Virtual Machines Can You Run at the Same Time?

Every company is different, that goes without saying. Some companies, regardless of size are in need of various necessities within technology. For example, maybe you’re just getting started with cloud computing and you need to know the basics like how much data usage is included in your plan. Maybe, you’re an experienced user who just wants to learn more about the different pricing options available for specific tools. Maybe you’re even just curious about how many Virtual Machines (VMs) your company can run simultaneously.

Below, we will be diving deeper into what VMs are and how many your organization can run depending on the needs and circumstances of your company.

 

What is a VM?

A Virtual Machine (VM) is a software emulation of a computer that operates within another computer, utilizing advanced virtualization technology. This allows you to host and run websites and applications on a remote server without needing to purchase or maintain your own hardware. VMs can serve a variety of purposes and can run multiple operating systems. You can scale the number of VMs up or down as needed, optimizing costs by only using the VMs necessary. Cloud hosting providers may limit the number of VMs you can use or allow flexibility to use as many as needed.

Incorporating a Virtual Private Network (VPN) within your virtual networking setup enhances security and privacy for your data and applications. Understanding VM limits, virtual networking capabilities, and performance optimization techniques is crucial when choosing the right provider. This ensures your infrastructure meets your business needs efficiently and securely, maximizing the benefits of virtualization technology.

Using the best virtualization software is essential for maximizing VM performance and reliability. Additionally, employing virtual machine software enables you to manage and optimize your VMs effectively. To safeguard your data, it’s vital to know how to backup virtual machines using dedicated virtual machine backup software. Regular virtual machine backups are crucial for data protection and disaster recovery, ensuring your systems remain resilient against potential failures.

 

Understanding VM Limits

VM limits help cloud hosting providers to maintain reliability and security. Knowing what they are before you sign up for a particular plan is helpful when deciding which provider to go with. Most providers will tell you their VM limits before you make an account. VM limits and performance optimization are different for each cloud hosting provider, although some commonalities exist. For example, most providers include CPU, RAM, and storage when calculating a VM’s capacity.

Here’s a breakdown of some of their terminology:

  • CPU: This is the processor’s processing speed. The more capacity you have, the more VMs you can run at the same time. Common VM limits are 2, 4, and 8 CPU cores.
  • RAM: This is how much memory a VM has to store and run processes. If a VM has insufficient RAM, it may slow down or crash.
  • Storage: This is how much data the VM can store, such as website files and databases. The more storage a VM has, the more information it can hold.
  • Network: This is how much data a VM can send and receive. Standard VM limits are 1, 2, and 10 Gbps network bandwidth.

 

Can your server handle the number of virtual machines it’s hosting?

As we delve into a critical aspect of server management: assessing whether your server can effectively handle the number of virtual machines (VMs) it hosts. Leveraging virtualization technology has become a norm in modern IT infrastructure, enabling efficient resource utilization and scalability. However, as your VM count grows, it’s paramount to evaluate server performance to prevent bottlenecks and ensure smooth operations.

Factors such as virtual private network (VPN) configurations, virtual networking setup, and performance optimization strategies play pivotal roles in maintaining server health. By implementing proactive monitoring and optimization techniques, you can mitigate risks of overload and enhance the overall efficiency of your virtualized environment. Stay tuned as we uncover essential tips and best practices to keep your server infrastructure running seamlessly amidst expanding virtualization demands.

 

How to run multiple virtual machines simultaneously?

To run multiple virtual machines simultaneously, use robust virtual machine software. Start by selecting the best virtualization software that supports concurrent VM operations. Ensure your hardware meets the necessary specifications for running multiple VMs. Regularly perform virtual machine backups using dedicated virtual machine backup software to safeguard your data. Learn how to backup virtual machines to prevent data loss and maintain system integrity. By managing resources efficiently and using reliable software, you can run multiple VMs smoothly and securely.

 

How Many Virtual Machines Can You Run at the Same Time?

 

Your-1-VM-QuestionIn general, you can run as many Virtual Machines at the same time as your computer can handle. The primary issue is how much RAM you have plus how much of it is available.

In any system, there must be a balance between available memory and the number of virtual machines you want to run. It is not advisable to overload your computer with too many VMs as it can cause a major slowdown to your system. This depends on your computer’s resources, but usually, you can keep an average of 3-5 VMs running simultaneously without seeing any performance degradation. Each VM uses about 500MB to a GB of RAM, so if your computer has 4GB of RAM or less, you should stay at around 2 VMs max.

Note that VMs share resources such as the same processor, RAM, and storage, so you may have trouble running multiple VMs simultaneously. If a VM is experiencing issues, it could slow down or crash other VMs held on the same computer.

 

Conclusion

You can save time and money by not purchasing or maintaining your hardware by just hosting and running your websites and applications on a remote server. The more capacity your RAM, CPU, and storage have, the more VMs you can run simultaneously; in other words, you can run as many VMs as your computer and plan will allow you, so long as you can handle the additional load.

We, at Protected Harbor, are an experienced partner with the knowledge and expertise to help you fulfill your goals. With managed hosting services from Protected Harbor, you don’t have to worry about the day-to-day management of your Virtual Machines or keeping up with the ever-changing technology landscape. Instead, you can focus on your business, knowing that you have a reliable partner to keep your Virtual Machines up to date and secure.

With our cutting-edge technology, you can be assured that your data is secure, your VMs are backed up, and your network is optimized to provide the best experience for all of your users. Our Virtual Machine hosting solutions come with flexible configuration options, allowing you to scale up or down as needed to accommodate any workload. Advanced tools will enable you to monitor your VMs remotely and receive detailed alerts if something goes wrong. You can also set up scheduled snapshots to keep a copy of your VMs in case of any emergency.

With our Virtual Machine hosting, you have the security and reliability of a managed service without the high costs and maintenance responsibilities.

Contact us today for a free demo and IT audit.

Virtual servers—are they more safe and secure than physical ones?

Are virtual servers more secure and protected than physical ones

 

Are virtual servers more secure and protected than physical ones?

In 2022, cloud data centers will process 94 percent of all workloads. It will dominate the workload processing and supersede non-cloud data centers. Thus, if you’re planning to migrate to a cloud server, this article will assist you in your decision.

Are the physical servers a thing of the past? Not long ago, people feared a future of thronging data centers covering the globe. While that sounds exaggerated, spatial concerns have always been a critical part of any information center or server room. Owing to virtualization, the development of physical infrastructure slowed within the last decade.
As more organizations benefit from virtualization, virtual servers are already becoming a vital component of the modern hybrid ecosystem.

Businesses and service providers are choosing virtual servers over physical ones due to several advantages, including:

  • Reduced costs and overhead expenses
  • Better scalability as new virtual servers can be created as per need
  • Recovery and backup features for a fast and reliable restoration
  • Technical support from the virtual server hosting provider for setup and maintenance.
  • Ease of installing updates and software to several virtual servers

Is it true that virtual servers are less exposed to threats?

It’s not that virtual servers are less secure than the other servers. In many ways, virtual servers are more secure than physical servers because they depend upon a single-host server and are more isolated.
Each virtual server has its OS (operating system) and configuration, which may or may not be according to the benchmarks set by the parent company. Every one of these servers must be patched and maintained the same way other server does to keep up with the potential vulnerabilities.

The rise in virtualization has yielded a significant vulnerability. Gartner released a study that concluded that many servers being virtualized are less secure than their physical counterparts. So, using virtual servers has its benefits and leverages, but when security is concerned, at a minimum, organizations must have the same type of monitoring as physical systems.

Servers enable you to control and distribute the information and secure and protect the information. Servers can be distinguished into three main types:

  • Physical server
  • Virtual server
  • Cloud server

Physical server

These are the dedicated servers that use the standard components including processor, memory, hard drive, network, and operating system (OS) for running applications and programs, also called Traditional or ‘bare-metal servers. ‘ These servers are mostly single-tenant which means a single server is dedicated to a specific user.
The pros of having a physical server are that it is dedicated, unshared, and can be customized to serve a specific purpose. The obvious disadvantage is that it’s expensive and space required to set up the infrastructure.

Virtual server

A virtual server is like renting out space on a physical server off-site, similar to AWS. They have the same efficiency as a physical server but not the fundamental biological machinery. A virtual server is cost-efficient and provides faster resource management. Multiple virtual servers can be created from a physical server with a hypervisor or container engine.
Cost reduction, less operational expense, and scalability are the most significant benefits of server virtualization. The drawback, however, is that the upfront investments might be expensive for the software licenses and servers. Also, not all applications and servers are virtualization friendly.

Cloud server

A cloud server is a centralized server resource built, hosted, and delivered through a cloud computing platform over the internet and can be accessed on demand by multiple users. It can perform all the functions of a typical server, delivering storage and applications.
A cloud server may also be referred to as a virtual server or virtual private server.
Cloud servers provide ease of accessibility, flexibility, customization and are cost-efficient. While network dependency, security, and technical issues are some of the cons that a reliable data center management company can handle.

Physical vs. Virtual vs. Cloud servers, Which is right for your business?

Each type of server serves its purpose and delivers according to the business’s needs. Still, there are several factors to consider when deciding on the exemplary service for you: budget, performance requirements, data security, space, environmental control, workload, and data type.
As the world is rapidly moving toward the cloud- lifting all applications and information, larger enterprises are quickly leading the approach and virtualizing.

The past decisions to move servers into the cloud, either in virtual servers or colocation environments, become intelligent decisions for most companies. The primary benefits of switching to cloud servers are:

  • Affordability- since third-party providers manage cloud servers, it is far less expensive than owning your infrastructure.
  • Scalability– cloud servers respond quickly, scaling up and down to meet demand or any data storage needs.
  • Convenience– users can access the data from anywhere, anytime, and can be easily managed through a single API or control panel.
  • Reliability– since the cloud runs on numerous servers in a managed environment, service continues even if one component fails. It can efficiently deliver the same performance as a dedicated server.

But the reality is, even in today’s world, there is still a use of physical servers. And the decision-making should be done by considering the factors above.

Protected Harbor among the top virtual hosting companies

As a top virtual hosting company, Protected Harbor has accomplished exceptional reliability, stability, and durability with its Datacenter management service. Eliminating the causes of failures, we have achieved 99.99% uptime for our systems. We provide an unmatched service over any other provider with features like application outage avoidance (AOA), proactive monitoring, and technology improvement plan (TIP).
To know more about switching to a cloud server and the migration process, consult our experts; click here.

What Functions Best? Virtualization vs. bare metal servers

What Performs Best

 

What Performs Best? Bare Metal Server vs Virtualization

 

Virtualization technology has become a ubiquitous, end-to-end technology for data centers, edge computing installations, networks, storage and even endpoint desktop systems. However, admins and decision-makers should remember that each virtualization technique differs from the others. Bare-metal virtualization is clearly the preeminent technology for many IT goals, but host machine hypervisor technology works better for certain virtualization tasks.

By installing a hypervisor to abstract software from the underlying physical hardware, IT admins can increase the use of computing resources while supporting greater workload flexibility and resilience. Take a fresh look at the two classic virtualization approaches and examine the current state of both technologies

 

What is bare-metal virtualization?

Bare-metal virtualization installs a Type 1 hypervisor — a software layer that handles virtualization tasks — directly onto the hardware before the system installing any other OSes, drivers, or applications. Common hypervisors include VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V. Admins often refer to bare-metal hypervisors as the OSes of virtualization, though hypervisors aren’t Operating Systems in the traditional sense.

Once admins install a bare-metal hypervisor, that hypervisor can discover and virtualize the system’s available CPU, memory and other resources. The hypervisor creates a virtual image of the system’s resources, which it can then provision to create independent VMs. VMs are essentially individual groups of resources that run OSes and applications. The hypervisor manages the connection and translation between physical and virtual resources, so VMs and the software that they run only use virtualized resources.

Since virtualized resources and physical resources are inherently bound to each other, virtual resources are finite. This means the number of VMs a bare-metal hypervisor can create is contingent upon available resources. For example, if a server has 24 CPU cores and the hypervisor translates those physical CPU cores into 24 vCPUs, you can create any mix of VMs that use up to that total amount of vCPUs — e.g., 24 VMs with one vCPU each, 12 VMs with two vCPUs each and so on. Though a system could potentially share additional resources to create more VMs — a process known as oversubscription — this practice can lead to undesirable consequences.

Once the hypervisor creates a VM, it can configure the VM by installing an OS such as Windows Server 2019 and an application such as a database. Consequently, the critical characteristic of a bare-metal hypervisor and its VMs is that every VM remains completely isolated and independent of every other VM. This means that no VM within a system shares resources with or even has awareness of any other VM on that system.

Because a VM runs within a system’s memory, admins can save a fully configured and functional VM to a disk or physical servers, where they can then back up and reload the VM onto the same or other servers in the future, or duplicate it to invoke multiple instances of the same VM on other servers in a system.

 

 

Advantages and disadvantages of bare-metal virtualization

Virtualization is a mature and reliable technology; VMs provide powerful isolation and mobility. With bare-metal virtualization, every VM is logically isolated from every other VM, even when those VMs coexist on the same hardware. A single VM can neither directly share data with or disrupt the operation of other VMs nor access the memory content or traffic of other VMs. In addition, a fault or failure in one VM does not disrupt the operation of other VMs. In fact, the only real way for one VM to interact with another VM is to exchange traffic through the network as if each VM is its own separate server.

Bare-metal virtualization also supports live VM migration, which enables VMs to move from one virtualized system to another without halting VM operations. Live migration enables admins to easily balance server workloads or offload VMs from a server that requires maintenance, upgrades or replacements. Live migration also increases efficiency compared to manually reinstalling applications and copying data sets.

However, the hypervisor itself poses a potential single point of failure (SPOF) for a virtualized system. But virtualization technology is so mature and stable that modern hypervisors, such as VMware ESXi 7, notoriously lack such flaws and attack vectors. If a VM fails, the cause probably lies in that VM’s OS or application, rather than in the hypervisor

 

What is hosted virtualization?

Hosted virtualization offers many of the same characteristics and behaviors as bare-metal virtualization. The difference comes from how the system installs the hypervisor. In a hosted environment, the system installs the host OS prior to installing a suitable hypervisor — such as VMware Workstation, KVM or Oracle Virtual Box — atop that OS.

Once the system installs a hosted hypervisor, the hypervisor operates much like a bare-metal hypervisor. It discovers and virtualizes resources and then provisions those virtualized resources to create VMs. The hosted hypervisor and the host OS manage the connection between physical and virtual resources so that VMs — and the software that runs within them — only use those virtualized resources.

However, with hosted virtualization, the system can’t virtualize resources for the host OS or any applications installed on it, because those resources are already in use. This means that a hosted hypervisor can only create as many VMs as there are available resources, minus the physical resources the host OS requires.

The VMs the hypervisor creates can each receive guest operating systems and applications. In addition, every VM created under a hosted hypervisor is isolated from every other VM. Similar to bare-metal virtualization, VMs in a hosted system run in memory and the system can save or load them as disk files to protect, restore or duplicate the VM as desired.

Hosted hypervisors are most commonly used in endpoint systems, such as laptop and desktop PCs, to run two or more desktop environments, each with potentially different OSes. This can benefit business activities such as software development.

In spite of this, organizations use hosted virtualization less often because the presence of a host OS offers no benefits in terms of virtualization or VM performance. The host OS imposes an unnecessary layer of translation between the VMs and the underlying hardware. Inserting a common OS also poses a SPOF for the entire computer, meaning a fault in the host OS affects the hosted hypervisor and all of its VMs.

Although hosted hypervisors have fallen by the wayside for many enterprise tasks, the technology has found new life in container-based virtualization. Containers are a form of virtualization that relies on a container engine, such as Docker, LXC or Apache Mesos, as a hosted hypervisor. The container engine creates and manages virtual instances — the containers — that share the services of a common host OS such as Linux.

The crucial difference between hosted VMs and containers is that the system isolates VMs from each other, while containers directly use the same underlying OS kernel. This enables containers to consume fewer system resources compared to VMs. Additionally, containers can start up much faster and exist in far greater numbers than VMs, enabling for greater dynamic scalability for workloads that rely on micro service-type software architectures, as well as important enterprise services such as network load balancers.

Why Virtualization Should Be Considered?

Why Virtualization Should Be Considered

 

Why Virtualization Should Be Considered?

Changing your IT environment to one that is Virtual allows you to instantly access nearly endless system resources that make for all-around optimal performance for your business. Virtualization also gets rid of potentially hazardous server rooms, cables, and bulky hardware; reducing overall IT costs as well as management expenditures.

First, let’s take a look at what Virtualization actually is.  Virtualization is the process of migrating physical systems into a virtual environment. Essentially, it is the creation of a virtual device, resource, or operating system. By providing a virtual view of your systems, this allows you to turn one server into a host for a group of servers that all share the same resources.

By concentrating your storage and systems on servers and installing virtual machines (VMs) to end-users, costs of your systems/infrastructure will be reduced while, management, security, uptime and control, will all be optimized and faster.

Often, many think of virtualization as the actual cloud, however, the cloud is just a piece of virtualization.  The most vital function of virtualization is the ability to run multiple operating systems and or applications on a single server.  In doing this, productivity can be achieved by fewer servers.  Overall, application performance will typically improve as a result of technology that balances resources and delivers what the end-user needs.

Virtualization is a solution for many organizations, however, it’s not for every business.  So how do you determine if this application is right for your environment?

  1. If your company relies on multiple servers and is using laptops and networks, virtualizing the environment will immediately reduce capital costs since there will no longer be the need to pay upfront for hardware.
  2. Virtual environments enable you to run multiple operating systems on the same hardware, hence increasing the flexibility of your infrastructure. Many businesses spend a ton of money on an extra room to store large server racks, wires and pay IT personnel to maintain everything. In this scenario, virtualization will help reduce hardware costs while freeing up room space that can be utilized for other things.
  3. Infrastructure environments that are virtualized allow for rapid and simple scaling – up or down. If your server needs more processing or memory, resources can be easily added.  The days of needing to physically add CPUs or RAM would be over because this concept is done with physical servers.
  4. Most maintenance tasks can be managed easily off-site and don’t require sending techs on site (another cost-saving feature). Also, the maintenance tasks can also be set up to run themselves across a variety of scenarios.

Why would you NOT virtualize?

If you run a very small business or a simple server scenario you might not need virtualization.  While virtualization will save you money, there are set up costs involved. Perhaps you are not prepared for those expenditures at your current juncture.  There is no point in virtualizing your systems if you can’t afford the tools and management systems required to support the technology.

Another reason would be if your software license does not allow you to run on virtual machines. It is always best to avoid anything that could breach your software license agreement, so be sure to check this before moving forward with virtualizing.

Protected Harbor delivers end to end IT solutions ranging from custom-designed systems, data center management, disaster recovery, ransomware protection, cloud services and more.  On average, we save clients up to 30% on IT costs while increasing their productivity, durability and sustainability.  Let our unique technology experts evaluate your current systems and design cost-effective, secure options.

If you are looking to learn more about virtualization solutions, contact Protected Harbor.  www.protectedharbor.com  845-573-1098

Disadvantages of AWS, Azure, and Other Big Brand Hosting

Disadvantages of AWS, Azure, and Other Big Brand Hosting

When it comes to hosting for a business, you don’t want to use just anyone. There are many critical factors to consider including security, stability, uptime, scalability, and more. Because of this, many businesses gravitate towards big, established brands for hosting and management such as Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft’s Azure.

Companies like these can likely provide well beyond your technical needs. That’s not to say they’re all the exact same. Azure caters to Microsoft products, allowing large companies to move their Windows-based infrastructure online more easily. Meanwhile, AWS boasts their general flexibility and universal capabilities.

Each brand has its unique strengths. When it comes to weaknesses, however, there are some overlapping issues that basically any large-scale hosting company deals with.

Overwhelming Options

Right from the start, many businesses are overwhelmed with the variety of packages and services offered by large hosting companies. AWS, for example, greets you with an entire library of services and products to choose from. Simply trying to find basic website hosting proves to be difficult and confusing.

Unclear Pricing Structures

Equally confusing are the pricing structures. Many companies try to sign you up on free trials or temporary discount pricing, only for you to discover the true inflated price months down the road.

These companies also tend to work off a pay-per-use model. In other words, the more data you process and store, the more your hosting costs. While it sounds nice in theory, as you only pay for what you use, it can make it very difficult to predict your monthly costs as prices fluctuate.

It also leaves you severely exposed to DDoS attacks.

DDoS attacks infect a large number of devices with malware and then use them to unleash a coordinated flood of traffic on an unsuspecting network. In addition to slowing down and (likely) crashing your systems, it results in a massage spike of data use.

The average size of a DDoS attack is 2.5 gigabits per second. If you’re being charged per data used, you’ll be left with a very large hosting bill following a DDoS attack.

Advanced Knowledge

Once you’ve figured out what your business needs, the real difficultly begins. Within any given service, there are countless add-ons, tools, settings, and more. While this provides a lot of flexibility and customization, it requires a lot of work and understanding. The deeper your needs go, the deeper your understanding needs to be.

Each platform is different, which means you either need to hire someone who is experienced on a particular platform, or you’ll need to invest in training a current employee. The question is, do you want someone learning a new platform as they’re managing your IT needs?

Support Problems

Platforms like AWS and Azure do offer their own technical support, should you require it. In fact, they often provide a certain amount of free support when you sign up. However, those hours can quickly be eaten up during the onboarding. After that, you’ll pay for support.

Things can get very expensive very quickly.

A better solution is generally to find a third party to help manage and maintain your hosting needs. This can provide more affordable support, but it also adds complexity to your hosting management and expenses.

A Simpler, Yet Powerful Hosting Solution

At Expedient Technology Services, we provide straightforward, yet diverse hosting solutions for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a start-up or an enterprise, we have the capabilities to meet your specific needs.

We operate under flat rate costs, so you know exactly what you’ll pay every month. We can even bundle in support hours so that you get professional assistance when you need it. As your company grows, we can easily scale our services with you.

While our initial costs may seem higher, they’re generally cheaper in the long run. Best of all, they’re much less stressful to understand and manage. After all, ETS exists to provide Stress-Free IT. For hosting, computer services, and technical support in Dayton, Ohio, and beyond, contact ETS today.