Virtualization Basics

Server virtualization allows organizations to run multiple virtual servers on a single physical machine.  All virtual servers share the resources of the one physical computer.

 How Does Virtualization Work?

A single or small number of physical servers can be used in place of many servers by virtual server software.  This software provides an environment where many virtual servers can run on one physical server, reducing hardware costs while providing protection against hardware and software failure.

The virtual servers can respond to changing conditions and errors without affecting other virtual servers on the physical host server.  In addition, should one physical server in a cluster of servers fail, the other physical servers can automatically take over its responsibilities.  This provides for a high degree of both reliability and flexibility.

virtualization

Advantages

Reduce Physical Infrastructure

  • Fewer servers and small infrastructure means reduced hardware, cooling and repair costs.
  • Virtual environments consolidate many servers into fewer, more power servers, saving space and environmental demands.

Maximize Resources

  • Virtualized environments allow for a more efficient use of hardware than standard environment.

Recovery Speed

  • In a disaster, recovery is faster and more complete in virtual environments, reducing downtime when compared to physical environments.
Disadvantages

Increased Risk

  • Since many virtual servers are hosted on a physical server, failure of that host server will result in more services becoming unavailable than in a standard server environment.

Significant upfront cost

  • A virtual environment will typically require a large initial investment.

Incompatibility

  • While most applications will run on a virtual server, some software technical support teams may not be willing to assist when problems occur.