So-called “virtual servers” have become increasingly commonplace and capacious in recent years, especially as users look to operate more safely and cost-effectively online.
To this end, just 55.6% of global servers were physical only in June 2019, with this figure down from 57.2% year-on-year. It’s sure to fall further in the coming months and years too, as the scope of virtual servers continues to grow in line with rising demand.
In this article, we’re going to summarise the benefits of using virtual servers, while considering their main applications in 2023. So, let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
What is a Virtual Server?
Ultimately, the precise definition of a virtual server can vary depending on its design and precise application, but the process of virtualization often involves dividing a single physical server into a number of unique and isolated alternatives.
This process is underpinned by a software application and advanced algorithms, which enable virtual servers to become independent and run their own operating systems.
At the same time, virtual servers are configured so that multiple users can share their processing power at any given time, which lends itself to a number of different applications. It also unlocks multiple advantages, especially from the perspective of commercial operators and businesses.
What are the Advantages of Using a Remote Server?
There are a number of benefits of server virtualization, some of which are applicable across all business types and markets. We’ll summarise a few of these below so that you can begin to understand how a remote or virtual server will help you.
- 1. Reduce IT and Operational Costs: Whenever you partition a single physical server into a number of virtual machines, it’s possible to operate and manage a much larger number of applications at once. This also enables you to reduce the number of corporeal servers you operate, translating into a lower IT and operational spend over time.
- 2. Create Additional Space and Functionality: By embracing the notion of virtual and remote servers, you can immediately reduce the number of physical alternatives on a business’s premises. This helps to save space and potentially reduce the amount of office space required, while simultaneously delivering improved server reliability and accessibility.
- 3. Slashes Energy Consumption Over Time: By operating far fewer physical servers, businesses are able to reduce energy consumption significantly. This is incredibly important in an age of sustainability and eco-friendly brands, while it also lends itself to the more efficient utilization of physical servers and superior use of power.
- 4. Minimises Downtime for Physical Infrastructure Maintenance: On a similar note, the deployment of virtual servers also translates into reduced downtime during periods of physical infrastructure maintenance. Backup and recovery processes are also easier and less time-consuming, especially when performed using virtual machines.
What are the Main Applications for Virtual Servers?
Many of these benefits underpin a number of core applications for virtual servers, which are increasingly diverse and integral in the commercial world. Here are a few to keep in mind:
1. Web Hosting
We’ll start with web hosting, as virtual servers are known to provide affordable and more efficient web hosting services online.
The reason for this is simple; dozens of virtual servers can be accessed by the same device to increase functionality for next to no cost.
Different web services can also be configured with virtual server hosting so that multiple site owners can use servers as if they had full control over them, allowing for more efficient hosting over time.
If you’re asking “what is a VPN?”, this refers to a virtual private network that secures your device and encrypts all of your data and web traffic.
It also masks your device’s IP address, making it appear as though you’re located in another part of the world and protecting you against both doxing and malware attacks.
VPNs achieve this by connecting your device to a remote or virtual server of your choice, the latter of which can be located in various server locations across the globe. In addition to creating an additional layer of network security when surfing online, this may also enable you to stream content from your choice of Netflix libraries throughout the world.
3. Remote Access
VPNs also allow for remote access to business-critical data and files through the Internet, as do dictated virtual services.
In fact, the latter can be easily configured to support secure and real-time access to business files and potentially sensitive customer data, which is more important than ever in an age of hybrid and remote working.
In the UK alone, around eight out of 10 workers who operated remotely during the coronavirus pandemic now want to secure a hybrid working arrangement. So, as they split their time between the office and their home, businesses will need to use virtualized servers to help safeguard their data.
The Last Word
So, there you have it; a detailed insight into virtual servers and their core benefits and a closer look at the primary applications for this type of software-driven technology.
Ultimately, there’s no doubt that the demand for virtual and remote servers is growing incrementally year-on-year, with this also helping to create a broader range of functions and potential applications going forward.