Virtual Servers in the IT Environment
While many of us are hearing about this concept for the first time, virtualization first took hold in the enterprise in 2005. When you hear about this process, people are usually referring to the process of creating and using virtual servers, which means partitioning a server into multiple virtual machines – all residing within one physical device. Basically, when you virtualize the IT environment, you disassociate the tight bond between software and hardware.
In other words, if you buy a powerful enough server at today’s inexpensive prices, you can install software that allows the single physical machine to act like multiple servers. The different virtual servers can run different operating systems and multiple applications. Because each virtual machine is isolated from other virtualized machines, if one crashes, it doesn’t affect the others.
What Are the Benefits of Virtual Servers?
You can turn a single purpose server into a multi-tasking one that can adapt more flexibly to changing workloads while using more of the server total capacity.
No more powering unused server capacity.
Deployment is faster for virtual servers and you can spend less time on the manual tasks needed for maintenance.
Disaster Recovery Planning
You can back up and even migrate entire virtual environments.
Who Are the Major Players?
The major players in this market providing virtual server software are VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft. VMware cornered the market for x86 servers and almost everyone agrees that they are the leader on the platform. However, Microsoft offers its virtualization software free of charge.
What Are the Other Types of Virtualization?
- Server virtualization – partitioning a single server into multiple virtual machines, all residing within one physical device
- Desktop virtualization – enables a centralized server to deliver and manage individualized desktops remotely
- Storage virtualization – pooling multiple network storage devices in what appears to be a single storage device for easier and more efficient management of these resources
- Network virtualization – splits available bandwidth in a network into independent channels that can be assigned to specific servers or devices