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IT Corner – Month in Review

While working at BasketsGalore, my main focus has been on maximum utilization of the hardware that the company owns. Tightening security as much as possible and squeezing every drop of performance out of existing hardware have always been at the forefront of my plans.

With that in mind, virtualization has been at the back of my mind since day one. Virtualization is essentially the art of subdividing a computer into more, smaller computers. Being the kind of guy with a stack of servers in his living room, virtualization in the home environment allows me to deploy operating systems with working environments, experiment (read: mess around with things until I accidentally break them), before deleting them or moving them closer towards being a production environment- all within the space of minutes rather than the hours it would take when working on bare metal.

There are a few other advantages to virtualization, too. Among others, it allows hardware to be used to maximum potential. Rather than building a small, dedicated box for a task, say, a Unifi controller, a larger server can have 10% of its resources handed over for the job while the other 90% remains available for bigger and better things.

It is for this reason that I recently undertook the take of virtualizing our in-house servers. I’ll not mention names as we’re not affiliated with any particular company; but hardware level segregation was a big ‘must have’ in the choice of hypervisor and I have used several that are up to the task. All in all, it means that backups are faster, more reliable and easier to revert to if things do go wrong; individual services are now segregated allowing smaller services to be restarted or updated as required without causing the same level of downtime, things are much more secure as an individual service being compromised will not mean everything is compromised and that things generally run much faster without requiring any extra hardware.

Virtualization is the next big thing in datacentre computing and now BasketsGalore are up there with the best of them.

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