At Smart IT we love hypervisor technology.

Hypervisors are software systems that run directly on the host’s hardware to control the hardware and to monitor guest operating-systems. A guest operating system thus runs on another level above the hypervisor and it also means you can run multiple operating system machines as machines in their own right.

See the Virtualization bit of our website for a proper explanation, there’s a video from VMware which makes it easier to understand.

One reason we love the technology is the recoverability aspect of the machines.  Using VM backup software we can recover whole systems in less than an hour.

Last week a small client lost their main server because of a hardware fault.  They had an IT support Contract.   In the old days we would turn up onsite with a replacement server and go through the arduous task of recovering the system from tape, NAS or offsite back up – either way to the client it’s a day’s downtime realistically.

However in this instance when we previously installed the server we built it on ESXi which is a completely free hypervisor from VMware and configured duel destination back ups to a NAS and tape.

The back up from the previous night had completed successfully so we installed a spare server, copied the virtual machine from the back up and started it with no problems.  It took about an hour all in all.

It’s difficult for small clients to be able to afford clustered servers with fail over but this is perfect for them and doesn’t cost the earth.

So from complete system outage to back up in an hour.  Not bad.

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