Virtualizing Your LenelS2 System

 

Virtualized deployments are popular because they improve operating economics

John L MossBy John L. Moss

John L. Moss is Chief Product Officer of LenelS2

 

Running enterprise systems, including software from LenelS2, in virtual environments is an increasingly common deployment practice that can offer a number of benefits. But, the concepts can be a little tricky, and knowing when virtualization will pay off is important.

In a virtualized solution, the application software and the operating system are bundled into a single, larger software package referred to as a virtual machine, or VM. That VM is then run on a computer typically sized to run multiple virtualized machines simultaneously. 

In practice, a virtualization server can run applications under multiple versions of an operating system or even multiple operating systems at the same time.

Many providers offer virtualization platforms that let a single computer run multiple VMs. Microsoft, Oracle, VMWare and numerous others are in the game. In most cases where NetBox, OnGuard or VRx are virtually deployed, the end user’s IT organization selects the virtualization platform and supports VMs provided by LenelS2 in their data centers.

Virtualized deployments are popular because they improve operating economics. Typically, less hardware and less administrative manpower is required to run virtualized systems. The administrative costs are significantly reduced because a single backup can cover many deployed systems at once. Virtualization also offers superior business continuity. Operators of virtual data centers usually have many identical computers running virtualized environments so that when a failure occurs, it’s quickly remedied.

Cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure run virtual machines provided by the user. Software manufacturers generally either offer software in VM form that can be run on a cloud service selected by the user, or pre-deployed in the user’s selected cloud service. LenelS2 offers virtual versions of its systems as options for users who want to deploy in a virtualized data center or a cloud service. Variants of NetBox, OnGuard Cloud Edition and VRx are offered this way.

Broadly speaking, virtualization in the cloud may be a good choice when corporate IT services are unavailable or expensive; when the user’s accounting practices favor expense over capital purchase; or, when the user does not have a central data center. Users with an available corporate data center typically ask for virtual machines to avoid the cost of maintaining the particular operating system versions associated with applications. 

LenelS2 also offers simplified cloud deployment options for users who want the benefits of cloud deployment but don’t have the skilled resources to install software in the cloud. LenelS2 offers two platform options that facilitate cloud deployment in AWS. NetBox Online is installed and maintained entirely by LenelS2. OnGuard users can opt for OnGuard Cloud Edition, which can be maintained by integrators and end users.

Cloud-deployed virtualized software has the advantage of low hardware maintenance cost but comes with monthly charges for the cloud service. The monthly operating costs are typically related to the amount of data transferred to the cloud and the amount of cloud-based storage used, so some analysis has to be done at the time of purchase to select the best deployment model for a given application.

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