Physical to Virtual (P2V) migrations can greatly reduce your IT costs by extending the life of your applications and consolidating your servers.
P2V is an industry term for the process of migrating an operating system (OS), applications and data from a physical server to a virtualised hosting environment. By using P2V tools, an image of a physical machine’s state is converted into a virtual machine (VM) that fully replicates the original environment.
Of course server virtualisation is beneficial in many hosting situations: it can enable considerable cost-savings, high availability and elasticity. But here are three particular scenarios where P2V migration is a necessary next step.
1. Relieve your dependency on legacy hardware
Businesses often maintain their mission-critical applications on old hardware because they’re built on old OSs. For instance, an application built on Windows 2003, Windows 2000 or Windows NT requires certain outdated hardware components. If your old hardware runs out of life it can be difficult to replace – you have to turn to second-hand parts.
However, migrating to a new server with a modern OS requires the costly and time-intensive process of rewriting your application.
P2V provides a convenient solution. Virtual environments are hardware agnostic, so you can run a legacy OS on new hardware, eradicating your dependency on legacy hardware.
2. Increase your utilisation of server resources
Typically physical machines operate at well below their maximum capacity – it’s not uncommon for a physical environment to use just 20-30% of its resources. This is due to the limitations of x86 servers that are designed to run only one OS or application at a time.
By virtualising and simulating the existence of hardware in a virtual environment, you can run multiple OSs and applications on one physical machine. This increases server utilisation, meaning you reduce the number of servers you need. The process of P2V therefore can greatly reduce your hosting bill through server consolidation.
3. Merge your disparate hardware
The hosting infrastructure for many organisations has been developed over the course of several years. As a result, the server stack often consists of multiple machines from different vendors, e.g. Dell, HP, IBM.
This lack of uniformity – with different drivers and components - can make maintenance a headache. It also means to backup your OS configuration you need to take a snapshot of each disparate machine.
A P2V migration enables you to merge your different servers into a single virtual environment as, again, virtual environments are hardware agnostic. This (again) promotes server consolidation and avoids the need to deal with several hardware vendors when you require new hardware components.
P2V - migrating to a virtual hosting environment - provides real cost-savings in many scenarios, not just the three mentioned here. For more expert advice on how to drastically reduce your hosting bill, download our free checklist.