12/14/2011

What is virtualization?

As you all know, technology just keeps on getting better. One of the most impressive technology enhancements in the past few years has been virtualization. What, exactly, is virtualization? Virtualization is when you take a physical computer that has memory, CPU(s), hard drives, and network adapters and then install a layer of software that manages these items. This layer is called a hypervisor. On top of this layer, you can install your server or workstation systems, then applications, all on the same physical box but running independently of each other. The hypervisor manages the memory, CPU(s), hard drives, and network adapters and can assign a certain amount of each and only make it available to certain virtual machines. The physical box is considered a HOST and the servers or workstations installed on top of the hypervisor layer are called GUESTS. WOW!
So how does that help me, you ask? Well, instead of buying multiple servers for one purpose, i.e. File Serving, database, or email, and spending several thousands of dollars, you can now use the hardware in one server and split the resources between multiple servers. In fact, today’s servers are so advanced with multiple core processors, higher speed ram, and faster hard drives, that a single use of a server today will result in maybe 5% utilization of the resources. What a waste! So why not take advantage of this great technology that allows you to get the most out of the money you spend on your technology?
There are several companies that have virtual server solutions. The biggest ones are VMware, Microsoft and Citrix. All of them offer free versions of this software as a starting point. So the next time you need a server, consider buying one for multiple uses rather than just one for a single purpose. Many workstations are now also being virtualized. Many companies are moving their servers to a data center and creating what is called a private cloud. This is when they own the equipment at the data center and they run the applications and servers remotely.
Tune in for more on the benefits of virtualization technology...

(This has been a President Post by Guy Baroan)

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