Virtualization is “the abstraction of the logical from the physical” or (in plain English) it is the separation of the operating system and applications from its dedicated server. Before this “virtualization thing” came about, there would have to be a dedicated server for each operating system which then had its own cluster of apps along with it. A server couldn’t be “shared” between different operating systems, so if you had a server running, say Microsoft Windows, you couldn’t use it for Linux later on that day when it wasn’t being fully utilized, you would have to have those OS’s on two completely separate servers.
The major problem with this is that most servers are not running at full utilization 100% of the time. At 9 am, when everyone is getting into the office and checking their mail, the mail server needs to be completely available, but by the time 2 o’clock rolls around , employees are onto other tasks and might need more accessibility on a different server. This wastes space, energy and MONEY to have that mail server on and running all day long without serving an actual business need, so why not use some of that space for more productive tasks?
Without Virtualization With Virtualization
With server virtualization the installed hypervisor (vmware in the above photo) creates multiple isolated software “instances” or “virtual machines (vms) on a SINGLE server. So with one server you will be able to run multiple workloads simultaneously and share the server’s resources. By doing this you will actually be able to utilize that server’s full capacity, and not have it just sitting there… running and waiting for users.
Server Virtualization allows you to :
▪ Increase server utilization rate—that is, more workloads per server
▪ Respond to computing needs faster in comparison to the lengthier provisioning
cycle of dedicated server hardware
▪ Stretch existing data center resources without increasing footprint and power
And really virtualization doesn’t stop there, you can also virtualize desktops as well as storage!
Like server virtualization, storage virtualization, if designed and managed effectively, can deliver business benefits in many areas, such as: object centralization; file synchronization and version control; electronic collaboration; automated storage provisioning and data placement; aligning storage costs with performance priorities; and supporting business analytics, annnnd as we already know Business analytics is one of the top ten initiatives in IT departments right now!!
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