Is Physical Servers are Easier to Manage than Virtual Servers?

Confused? Check out if Physical servers are easier to manage than virtual servers and take away your problems.

Introduction

Businesses are investing quite ever within the digital infrastructure necessary to remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic, fast-paced economic landscape.

The scope of this digital transformation is considerable. Consistent with Cisco, 94% of workloads and compute instances are going to be processed within the cloud by 2021. This suggests that companies currently looking to take a position in their digital infrastructure do so at a flash when everything from data center organization to remote access protocols is rapidly changing. Have a look to know which server is best for your business – virtual server or physical server.

Physical servers are easier to manage than virtual servers as they have full access to the users and can be stored in a colocation facility with a trusted vendor. IT users can fully customize and reconfigure the system according to the business requirements.

A physical server may be a piece of kit on which data is stored and skimmed. This might be located onsite in your server room, or it might be stored at a colocation facility (a data center) with a trusted vendor. The act of placing multiple “virtual servers” on physical equipment is called virtualization. This enables physical server resources to be split between multiple workloads for max efficiency and price savings.

Physical Server

We can define a physical server as a typical computer. They’re larger than the normal desktop computer, they function in much the same way—albeit on a business-grade scale. Physical Servers have RAM, CPUs, HDDs or SSDs, network connectivity assets, and more, all of which support physical servers’ robust performance.  

To run physical server applications, businesses and their MSPs need to install an operating system onto the server hardware. This enables them to run applications and programs that draw directly on the facility of that physical server’s hardware. This setup means each physical server is merely capable of serving one business because the resources of physical servers can’t be distributed among different digital tenants.

MSP can help businesses consider whether to invest in physical servers or not. Physical servers offer superior performance to virtual servers. Because virtual servers are, in a way, detached from the hardware they escape from—something we’ll probe momentarily—there’s always the prospect that bottlenecks will form. Teams using physical servers won’t run into an equivalent problem because applications and programs operated from a physical server run directly from the server’s onboard hardware. 

Physical servers also offer teams around-the-clock access and immediate control over their computing resources. While this might not be at the top of some customers’ wish lists, it may be essential for teams with certain mission-critical business operations that need to be managed onsite. The level of access that is provided by the physical servers can also be a plus for companies that handle carefully regulated information over which they’d prefer to exercise direct control.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to relying on physical servers that customers should consider. For starting, the physical servers can be quite expensive, both in the short term and long run. On top of the initial investment necessary to purchase servers, businesses will need to invest in ongoing maintenance, updates, and eventually, replacements due to hardware failure.

Finally, physical servers do present risks when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery.

Pros of Physical Server

  • Your IT team has full access to your dedicated server resources 24/7/365, which may be advantageous for high-demand or business-critical operations.
  • Depending on your needs, the server could also be located onsite or during a conveniently-located colocation facility.
  • The IT staff can fully customize and configure the server to your specifications and business requirements.

Cons of Physical server

  • The relatively high cost of server purchase, maintenance, and within the case of hardware failure, replacement.
  • Your IT staff are going to be liable for setup, configuration, and maintenance on a continuing basis.
  • You may have to hire a contractor or vendor for help if you’ve got difficulty with configuration or repairs.
  • Users cannot scale storage in small increments once you reach the utmost workload since you buy and own the hardware.
  • Requires physical or colocation space.

Virtual Server

A virtual server may be a software-based environment that emulates the processes of an actual computer. While end-users won’t be ready to tell the difference between a properly set-up virtual server and a physical server, they’ll actually be interacting with virtualization of the computing resources of a physical server. An equivalent resource that supports a physical server—RAM and CPUs, for example—all have software-based counterparts assigned to any given workload operating on a virtual server.

Virtual servers are set up with some type of software or operating system called hypervisor that creates and runs virtual machines. After being installed, virtual servers are created with their own virtual compute resources using the hypervisor. VMware Workstation and Microsoft VirtualPC are some popular examples of hypervisors.

When set up like this, virtual servers help businesses to more effectively distribute the resources of physical hardware to ongoing workloads. This is because, unlike physical servers, virtual servers can exist alongside one another in the same physical environment. While a physical server may be a single-tenant platform with dedicated resources, a hypervisor can support multiple virtual servers, allowing multiple applications to run simultaneously and share physical hardware capacity amongst themselves.

In addition to the simpler distribution of server resources, virtual servers offer businesses a variety of advantages that make them an increasingly popular option within the IT world. For instance, virtual servers are generally easier to manage. While some companies can prefer to find virtual servers on physical servers stored onsite, many businesses plan to work with colocation vendors that manage their virtual servers for them. This suggests that trained data center professionals are tasked with maintenance, updates, and general upkeep, saving businesses the difficulty of even powering the utilities needed to stay servers running and cooled down.

This model also makes virtual servers highly scalable. When businesses with physical servers want to feature greater capacity, they have to requisition new hardware and work with IT professionals to organize said hardware for internal use. On the opposite hand, companies that have invested in virtual servers—especially those managed by a third-party—can easily add capacity and scale down when necessary.

Pros of Virtual Server

  • Fewer upfront costs, since you’re not required to get hardware.
  • Lower lifetime costs on configuration and maintenance.
  • We can have access to expert assistance on setup, configuration, maintenance, and software licenses.
  • Reduced need for in-house IT talent.
  • Potential to consolidate servers and increase workload efficiency.
  • Reduced environmental footprint, thanks to shared workloads.

Cons of Virtual Server

  • Potential for higher recurring monthly costs, as against higher upfront investment.
  • Possible issues with application compatibility are best discussed with a knowledgeable vendor.
  • Not all vendors are amenable to scaling your agreement up or down in small increments, which largely depends on vendor policies and repair level agreements (SLAs).
  • You are not independently on top of things of your physical server and therefore the applications running on them.

These are some reasons for how physical servers are easier to manage than virtual servers.

FAQ

What is a physical server? 

A physical server is a powerful computer usually stored in a data center for business-use cases—that run operating systems and applications off of their internal hardware resources.

What is a virtual server?

 A virtual server refers to a server that is usually located in an offsite data center and its resources are shared by multiple users who each have control over it.

What operating systems run on virtual servers?

It depends on the individual virtualization solutions, but almost all of the virtual systems work with Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems.

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