3 IT Tools That Have Withstood the Test of Time - Part 3
This is the 3rd installment of a three part series where I'm highlighting three IT tools that are, in my opinion, absolutely critical for businesses. You can see part 1 about Nagios here and part 2 about Command Line Interface here.
VMware claims the final spot on my list. Providing a completely virtualized set of hardware to the guest operating system, VMware lets users create different testing environments on their systems. VMware virtual machines are highly portable between computers because every host looks nearly identical to the guest. In practice, a system administrator can pause operations on a virtual machine guest, move or copy that guest to another physical computer, and resume execution exactly at the point of suspension. For enterprise servers, a feature called VMotion allows the migration of operational guest virtual machines between similar but separate hardware hosts sharing the same storage. Each of these transitions is completely transparent to any users on the virtual machine at the time it is being migrated.
An absolutely critical aspect of VMware is that if a computer freezes up, threatening to lose all of its contents, VMware allows you to save the machine. It’s as if it provides a photograph of the innards of a computer and resuscitates the machine back to life – “presto” and you have the old machine back again, running software just like before. This lets you save various test environments, such as Windows with Word 2003 or 2007, or WinNT Word. These various programs can be installed and running tests in numerous different situations without having to use multiple machines to get the job done, thereby saving you thousands of dollars. Many analogous uses exist, as well, from sales demos to training systems to testing and debugging platforms, etc.
Microsoft’s launch of its Hyper-V virtualization system in 2008 has provided the first real competition for VMware since its inception in 1998, giving way to even more options and benefits for the user. Which virtual machine is “best” has become a subject of wide debate, but the most important thing for executives to remember when choosing a virtualization system is to consider their needs, and ask themselves what they’ll be using the product for. Once needs are clearly defined and understood, companies can do a better job of selecting the best option from the various vendors.Continued on the next page