Onepax Business Consulting


Years ago I remember playing with Virtual PC on my laptop and was absolutely amazed with the notion that I could run another operating system just as if it were another Windows application. The speed of the VM images were without a doubt lackluster on my laptop however it gave me hope that one day this would be perfected to a point where business could run multiple servers on one physical box in production.

After many years of hard work and development there are some great software packages on the market by VmWare and Citrix/Xen that virtualization has officially become the standard for deployment of production and development servers. This approach has some distinct advantages, and while it used to be the domain of the big boys like Fortune 500 companies with extensive IT resources, it is becoming common among SMBs as well. Advancing technologies in hardware and software has made it more straightforward to achieve virtualization, and it no longer requires a large IT staff to implement and support.

There can be some great advantages to using ERP applications like Syteline in a virtual server environment.

What is a Virtual Server?

The concept of server virtualization involves running guests instead of physical machines (computers or servers). In the usual (non-virtual) configuration, your computer or server runs one operating system (OS) that makes your computer work and thus a typical Syteline setup will require typically two to three servers. On a PC, it is probably Window XP or Windows 7, for a Mac it is named according to its revision like OS 9 or OSX. Server operating systems are not as well-known outside the IT industry, but Windows, Apple, and LINUX versions are common for servers as well.

In a virtual environment, a single machine has multiple operating systems installed on it, and this is invisible to the operating systems and its users. Each operating system thinks it is operating it own computer – running applications and managing inputs and outputs. Hence, you have several “virtual machines” operating on one single physical machine.

Virtual Software Creates Virtual Machines

Accomplishing this, however, requires special virtualization software that manages the physical machine allowing the various operating systems to run independently and allocating the computing resources to the various operating systems. This software is called the hypervisor or virtual machine manager (VMM).

VMware dominates the market for virtual server (VMM) software with its ESX and ESXi products, plus its Vsphere product focuses on virtualization in a cloud computing environment. Other significant players with virtualization software include:

  • Microsoft Hyper-V and App-V
  • Citrix Systems XenServer
  • Oriole VM and VM VirtualBox

The Advantages of Virtualization

While some IT experts can go on forever about the virtues of virtualization, from a user and business standpoint there are a couple of critical reasons to consider virtualization:

Lower Operating Costs

Using virtualization, organizations can consolidate machines on fewer physical servers. Typically servers are highly underutilized and frequently operate at an average of 15% to 20% capacity. Excess capacity, in the form of expensive physical servers is used to deal with peak application usage that is rarely needed. With a virtual server approach, the same number of virtual servers can exist on much fewer physical servers while providing the same level of functionality and server utilization can be increased to about 80%. Fewer physical servers means less investment in hardware and less ongoing maintenance support.

Tune Operating Systems for Best Application Performance

By running several virtual machines on a single server instead, you can set operating system parameters and settings to suit particular applications and purposes without affecting other applications. Every application can have the OS configured for optimal performance, instead of compromised settings so that other applications installed on a server will run. You don’t need to have expensive separate servers for different applications in order to optimize performance.

Improve and Differentiate Security Settings

We all know that stringent security settings and security software can cause hassles and unforeseen problems. By running virtual machines you can use high security settings for applications or data that need it reduced security settings for applications or users that do not require more stringent security. This can reduce problems for both users and IT administrators while improving security.

Improve Uptime with Automatic Back-up

A virtual machine can divide up a single server into several virtual servers, however, a more practical approach virtualization provides is converting two or three physical servers into a larger group of virtual servers. Now if a physical server is down due to a hardware failure or maintenance, all of the operating systems, applications, and databases continue to function using the remaining servers. Having an automatic backup improves uptime while preventing the loss of data and the use of critical applications like Syteline.

Implementing Syteline in a Virtual Environment

The more complicated the application, the more difficult it can be to implement in a virtual environment. The popular ERP software Syteline can operate in a virtual environment, however some small and medium sized organizations without extensive IT resources hesitate to take advantage of using virtual servers because of the perceived risk. If they have a problem migrating the application to the virtual environment they risk losing the use of a critical application. Having Syteline unavailable for even a short time could be disastrous.

Don’t allow the lack of internal Syteline expertise or IT resources keep you from taking advantage of server virtualization benefits. Using a Syteline expert like Onepax can ensure the migration of Syteline to a virtual server is smooth and flawless. Plus they can help you:

– Optimize and tune Syteline
– Tune Syteline for SQL servers

If you are interesting in talking with a Syteline expert about virtualization or other Syteline needs, contact Onepax.

  December 8, 2013      Comments (0)