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Server virtualization and Its Importance

Server virtualization is hardly a new technology. The practice became popular half a century ago with companies such as IBM and GE as the rapid evolution of applications began requiring time-sharing computers. From this technology, virtualization was quickly born.

What is Server Virtualization?

Server virtualization is the process of restructuring a single server into multiple small, isolated virtual servers. This process does not require new or additional servers; instead, virtualization software or hardware takes the existing server and partitions it into several isolated virtual servers. Each of these servers is capable of running independently.

Servers are the technology that hosts files and applications, providing functionality for other programs. This device processes requests and delivers data to other computers in a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN). Servers are often very powerful, processing complex tasks with ease.

A single server can only use one operating system (OS) and is usually dedicated to a single application or task. This is because most applications do not function effectively together on a single server. Because of this, much of a server’s processing capabilities go unused. However, when a server is virtualized it is transformed into multiple virtual servers which can each run different operating systems and applications in an isolated environment. This means less wasted processing power.

Servers take up space and require maintenance, as well as needing to be housed in an environment that is cool and dust-free. Between hardware costs, maintenance costs, and cooling costs, this can often become a significant cost to organizations.

In most cases, server virtualization is the best way to manage a data center’s server needs.

Why is Server Virtualization Important?

Server virtualization is important because it is significantly more efficient than using individual servers for each application or task. Not only does server virtualization reduce the number of physical servers needed, but it also simplifies the management of those servers, reduces costs associated with housing and maintaining servers, and results in significantly less wasted resources.

Minimize Costs

Server virtualization minimizes costs by increasing the utilization of existing resources. This cuts down on the number of physical servers needed, minimizes management costs for those servers, as well as reducing the energy requirements needed to run the servers and provide cooling for the servers.

Faster Server Provisioning & Deployment

Because most new applications require a new server, having a one-server-per-application setup usually means purchasing and installing a new physical server. This can be time-consuming, often taking weeks. However, with virtual servers, server provisioning and deployment is simple and fast as it requires no new server or installation.

Energy Savings

Virtualizing servers is inherently “green.” Not only do servers require energy to power them, but they also require energy for cooling. Because server virtualization significantly reduces the number of servers needed, this results in decreased energy costs.

Improved Disaster Recovery

Server virtualization makes it easier to implement an effective disaster recovery plan. This is because you have the capability to move data or applications quickly from one server to another. A single server can host a large number of virtual machines (VMs). Because of this, it can be simple and effective to create a replication site. Most virtualization software also allows you to test disaster recovery failovers—a protocol that is almost impossible with a large number of physical servers.

What are the First Steps?

Is your company interested in learning more about server virtualization? Reach out to a Network Coverage expert today to discuss how virtualization can increase productivity and reduce technology costs in your company.

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