Garbage Hardware

We have a term in our household that when any item with the thought to be ‘done with’, and is on its way to the trash is prefixed with term ‘Garbage’. While it’s not the most elegant term, it has stuck with most items. One of the best examples is when Garlic Bread gets a ‘little’ burnt. On its way to the trash, it usually gets intercepted by the men in the house and is lovingly referred to as Garbage Bread.Have an old Server? Is it a Garbage Server? Don’t throw it away just yet.

If you have an older piece of hardware that is used as a single ‘Bare Metal’ server, and are ready to throw it out or trade it in, maybe it can be used for another purpose. Even if this box is up to 8 years old, as long as it has enough memory, and CPU there is a chance it can be used in an environment for Virtualization.

What is Virtualization, you may ask?

To put it simply, virtualization is the ‘multitasking’ of various Operating Systems, Storage, or Networks on a single piece of Hardware in much the way that application multitasking is performed within a single Operating System.

Multitasking on PC’s has been around since the 1980’s while multitasking on Mobile devices, like IOS devices have not come to fruition until around 2010. Being able to run multiple applications at the same time (ie: Word, Excel, Chrome, Email) would be considered multitasking. Being able to run Windows Server, Linux, and other Operating Systems concurrently on the ‘Same’ physical machine would be considered Virtualization. This is a great solution for many environments like development, QA, and even a staging/lab environment, because these virtualized instances can be generated fairly quickly compared to building a machine from ground up. Besides Operations Systems, both Storage & Network environments can also be virtualized. In a virtualized environment the physical machine is often referred to as a ‘Host’. Every virtualized instance (OS) running on that Host would be called a Guest. Hosts can be either be standalone, or ‘Clustered’. Host’s that are clustered (2 or more Hosts both logically and physically connected) allow for the ability of redundancy and sharing of resources. If using virtualization for production, one of the many advantages of Operating System virtualization is the availability of redundancy and DR solutions. Hosts can reside in the same physical location, multiple locations, or even in the cloud. Another advantage of virtualization is that if a Server is virtualized, it can be backed up and restored to another Host either on premise or in the cloud fairly quickly and easy. This is where DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) and BaaS (Backup as a Service) show their value.

DRaaS & BaaS

While the idea of DRaaS & BaaS is basically data protection, the goal is different. BaaS is basically the ability to restore files and/or Operating System to the originating point in case of data loss, or failure. DRaaS on the other hand has the ability to restore the entire Operating ‘Environment’ to another location and have that Operation Environment including its applications up and running quickly in case of failure. DRaaS is difficult in a ‘Bare Metal’ environment because for the most part the Operating System and Applications are married to a particular piece of hardware. In a Virtualized environment that hardware dependency is greatly reduced because the Host’s in a Virtualized environment provide the Guest OS’s a consistent hardware platform no matter what type of hardware the actual Host is running on. Properly implemented, DRaaS can provide a seamless transition in case of disaster without the traditional use of Backup/Restore methodologies.

That Garbage Bread by the way, never does make it to the trash. It’s just too good to throw out.

Need information, or some advice with Virtualization, DRaaS, or BaaS? With more than 40 years of service, CCSI has provided clients a rock solid foundation on which to secure their organization’s future. CCSI leverages technology to inspire innovation, promote growth, drive efficiency, and accelerate our clients’ success. Contact us today!

Steve Rainess

Author Bio: Steven Rainess is a Solutions Architect for CCSI. He has 25 plus years experience in the IT industry. For most of these years he has been a consultant as a Subject Matter Expert in Systems, and Networking area, as well as, some Project Management and Development work. His work has covered many verticals including Financial, Education, Broadcasting, and Software Development.

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