Have you been hearing about all of the benefits of virtual machines? Depending on the size of your business, you can likely benefit from the use of virtual machines for some of the commonly studied applications.
We’d like to introduce you to how running a virtual machine in any sense can help in many of your business’ daily activities. Keep reading to learn how a virtual machine will allow you to run a single computer while giving you the possibility of multiple systems and access points!
First: What is a Virtual Machine?
To put it simply, a virtual machine is a computer file that will allow you to imitate or emulate a different computer system. With this type of file, your computer can run almost any application desired – whether the application is meant for your operating system or a different one.
Basically, a virtual machine can take on the characteristics of an infinite number of systems, simply by opening and running a different file.
Access Granted – Work From Anywhere
Part of the allure of a virtual machine is that a user can copy the file, open it on their home computer, and access all of the information they’d have while at the office. They can then save any changes made and send the file to their coworker or open it while at work to see any updates.
Your team can conduct business without having direct access to the main computer system. If the user happens to make a mistake reverting to the last point is easy. It also won’t matter what type of operating system the employee uses – a virtual machine simply needs a hardware host to run the file.
Disaster Recovery is Made Simple
The information inside of a virtual machine is ‘sandboxed.’ This basically means that it can’t escape or tamper with any of the files located on the system outside of the main file. If your physical machine happens to crash while in the process of an important update and all information is lost, you can retrieve it from the virtual machine.
This is important for businesses that run or develop new applications that may be unstable or untested. You can trust that your files won’t ever completely disappear even if they’re gone from your physical system.
Should a data or network disaster strike, using a virtual machine can help reduce the amount of downtime your business faces, helping you return to normal operation quickly.
Using a Virtual Machine to Try a New Operating System
Let’s say your business is interested in trying an operating system like iOS or Linux but you’ve been using Windows since your conception. Opting to buy an entirely new computer or install a new operating system without testing it first can be a recipe for disaster.
You can actually choose to run multiple operating systems on the hardware of a single physical computer without putting your current operating system or files at risk. You might find that the new operating system is exactly what you need – or that you absolutely hate it – but you’ll find out without the headache of installing and learning a new one.
Using a virtual machine to try a different operating system like Linux also will allow you to learn various commands without risking the destruction of your current system by inputting the wrong information.
Incompatible Software? No Problem!
If you depend on a certain type of software to run your business, you’re probably already familiar with the hassle that comes with new updates or worse: the discontinuation of software and its incompatibility on newer operating systems.
Unfortunately, when this happens, you’re often forced into finding a new type of software, even if the old one was perfect for your company. Instead of trying to find new software or choosing to keep an old operating system just because it happens to run the software you need, you can opt to use a virtual machine.
The virtual machine will allow you to update your computer as needed while still allowing for the use of older or incompatible software.
Simplify Your Workflow While Developing Software
Developing an application or software can be a tricky business, no matter how experienced or well-versed you are. As you make progress and need to test the software or application on different platforms, you can simply opt to test them on your computer using a virtual machine, instead of moving the files back and forth to mobile devices or computers with different operating systems.
This factor saves time and will allow you to see how well each new stage of development works on each system or platform.
At some point, you may actually have to run your software or application on the actual devices it is intended for because virtual machines aren’t perfect. However, you’ll get a decent idea of how things will work before having to take this step.
Test Your Antivirus Software
As mentioned, a virtual machine is ‘sandboxed.’ Whatever files or programs run inside of the machine won’t affect your actual system. If you happen to be the type who likes to see what their antivirus software is capable of or simply would like to run a doubtful program, you can do so without putting your physical computer at risk.
Of course, you don’t want to get too crazy when doing this – some malware may realize that it’s being run in a virtual machine and try to ‘escape.’ However, this is generally the safest way to use any program that you aren’t completely sure about in regards to legitimacy.
The Benefits of Virtual Machines Are Far and Wide
There are many, varied benefits of virtual machines but it comes down to the fact that these machines allow your single computer to become multiple systems without having to invest thousands of dollars.
Virtual machines can help keep your operating system safe, allow you to access business computers from anywhere in the world, and continue to use vital software (no matter how outdated it becomes.)
If you’re interested in setting up a virtual machine for your business, give us a call today – we’d love to show you exactly how it can benefit you!