Bulletproofing Virtualized IT Environments

Today, many popular manufacturing applications are certified for virtualization and with good reason. The benefits of virtualization, including cost control, higher productivity, and better long-term planning, are indisputable. Yet, some manufacturing engineers and plant IT departments are missing out on these benefits because they think virtualization involves too much risk.

Today, many popular manufacturing applications are certified for virtualization and with good reason. The benefits of virtualization, including cost control, higher productivity, and better long-term planning, are indisputable. Yet, some manufacturing engineers and plant IT departments are missing out on these benefits because they think virtualization involves too much risk — a point of view that is not entirely without merit.

It’s true that virtualization, the practice of using a software layer to let one physical computing server run multiple virtual machines, exposes a greater number of applications to downtime. While virtualization can increase redundancy and availability, it does not guarantee continuous operation. After all, the virtualization server still has the potential to be a single point of failure for all the applications it supports. Therefore, when you consolidate dozens of virtual machines on a single physical server, that system becomes mission critical — even if all the applications it’s running are not—making downtime prevention all the more important.

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