What is Virtualization?


Virtualization has been used for a long time to eliminate or reduce downtime, as well as increasing efficiency. It’s not a new technology and it has been used since 1960’s on expensive mainframes. As computer hardware becomes more powerful and storage devices offer more space, it’s found that using a single physical unit for each server isn’t the most efficient thing. So, virtualization is actually about server virtualization. It means that a single physical computer unit could run multiple operating systems. With virtualization, it will appear that you have multiple working servers, although you have only one physical computer unit.

These virtual servers share the same processor, RAM and graphics card. With virtualization, each virtual server is isolated from others. If one is crashed, others are unaffected. In fact, if the virtualization platform is robust enough, if one virtual server is damaged by virus, others will be immune. One essential software component of virtualization is called hypervisor that allocates and directs available hardware resources. A physical computer unit may contain virtual servers that run Mac OS X, Windows or Linux. There are different types of virtualization:

The benefits of virtualization are clear. One obvious one is that we don’t need too many physical server units and for organizations, this is a great cost savings opportunity. With properly implemented virtualization, it is possible to save up to 60 percent of the IT costs. Because you use fewer physical units, energy efficiency increases. Labor costs will also be reduced, because it will take fewer employees to manage physical units. Due to efficient use of space and resources, there will be more room for organizations to grow, because they can improve productivity without adding rack space. Virtualization allows for improved business agility and resources can be used with better flexibility.

By using virtualization, there are various benefits that you can get:

  • Use a single computer to run various operating systems
  • Optimize enterprise operations for optimum availability and performance
  • Save energy utilization due to the reduced numbers of physical server units
  • Save time needed for performing various routine computer tasks, such as recovery, archiving, backup and deployment
  • Virtualized environment makes it easier to optimize, archive, encapsulate and move things around.
  • Improved management with fewer application conflicts and faster desktop deployment

When using a cross-platform management system, make sure that it’s fully designed for your requirements. A bigger organization may require modular virtualization, while smaller organizations don’t. When using a virtualization platform, you should resist the temptation of choosing the most affordable solution. If virtualization isn’t reliable enough, errors could happen to the entire systems, affecting all virtualized servers. The virtualization platform should be scalable; it means that it can grow with your organizations. The virtualization should be highly reliable and data should always be available. For smaller businesses with a small IT team, it is better to choose a virtualization platform that requires little training and very easy to implement. The vendor should also be knowledgeable and experienced to troubleshoot any problem related to their platforms.