Back to Basics: What is Virtualization?

Back to Basics: What is Virtualization?

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Virtualization is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility—not just for large enterprises, but for small and midsize businesses too. VMware virtualization lets you:

  • Run multiple operating systems and applications on a single server.
  • Consolidate hardware to get vastly higher productivity from fewer servers.
  • Save 50 percent or more on overall IT costs.
  • Speed up and simplify IT management, maintenance, and the deployment of new applications.

For an excellent introduction to virtualization, check out this cool 3 minute video from VMware.

Now that you have a 10,000 foot view of what virtualization is, let’s get a little more specific.

Virtualization addresses IT’s most pressing challenge: the infrastructure sprawl that compels IT departments to channel 70 percent of their budget into maintenance, leaving scant resources for business-building innovation.

The difficulty stems from the architecture of today’s x86 servers: they’re designed to run just one operating system and application at a time. As a result, even small data centers have to deploy many servers, each operating at just 5 to 15 percent of capacity—highly inefficient by any standard.

Virtualization software solves the problem by enabling several operating systems and applications to run on one physical server or “host.” Each self-contained virtual machine (VM) is isolated from the others, and uses as much of the host’s computing resources as it requires.

For a more in depth view of virtualization watch this informative 6 minute video by VMinformer

The Benefits of Server Virtualization

The benefits of virtualization are nothing short of dramatic.

  • Up to 80 percent greater utilization of every server.
  • Reductions in hardware requirements by a ratio of 10:1 or better.
  • Capital and operations expenses cut by half, with annual savings of more than $1,500 for each server virtualized.
  • Robust, affordable high availability.

Virtualization Advantages

By running multiple operating systems and multiple applications on the same physical server, virtualization lets you reduce costs while increasing the efficiency and utilization of your existing x86 hardware.

  • Reduce capital and operating costs. Server consolidation lets you get more out of your existing hardware by running multiple virtual machines (VM) on a single physical server. Fewer servers means lower capital and operating costs. For the most cost savings, make sure you go with a virtualization solution that has the highest VM density per host.
  • Deliver high application availability. Integrated availability and fault tolerance protects all your virtualized applications. Should a node or server ever fail, all its VMs are automatically restarted or continued on another machine, with no downtime or data loss.
  • Improve business continuity. Virtualization makes it easier to survive unplanned potential IT disasters. You can move VMs from one server to another in a different location.
  • Increase IT productivity. Streamlined and automated management tasks mean you’ll spend less time on maintenance and more time on innovation.
  • Improve responsiveness. Virtualization lets your business scale rapidly because you can deploy desktops, applications and servers quickly and flexibly.

 Virtualizing Networking Services

With software-defined networking, virtualization principles are applied to network resources, abstracting, pooling and automating them to transcend the limitations of rigid physical architectures. Network services are assigned to each application and remain with it, elastically adapting to its changing requirements. Software-defined networking has many benefits.

  • Simplified provisioning
  • Enhanced scalability
  • Simplified management
  • Lower operating costs

Deploying Security in a Virtualized Environment

Security can also be delivered as an efficient, software-defined service—decoupled from physical devices, aggregated, and applied precisely where needed without hardware upgrades. Virtual workloads can be moved and scaled free from security constraints and the need for specialized appliances. Services include:

  • Integrated firewalling
  • Optimized gateway services
  • Open architecture

VMware vSphere Hypervisor

Now that you understand what virtualization is, let’s now look at VMware vSphere Hypervisor, which is server virtualization in this 7 minute video by David Brown.  This video will also walk you through downloading and installing the free server virtual software.  There are also several valuable links near the end of the video.

VMware Horizon View

In the previous section we discussed vSphere (server virtualization).  In the next 2 minute video produced by VMware you will get and overview of desktop virtualization (VMware Horizon View).  At the end of the video you will be able to get a link to download and try Horizon View.

That concludes our explanation of virtualization.

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The majority of the content for this blog post came from as viewed on 3/26/19.