Servers are giant computers. They’re large machines that host files and applications on computer networks and must be super powerful to do so. Servers often have central processing units (CPUs, or the “brains” of the server) with multiple processors that give servers the ability to run complex tasks. Now, IT teams are virtualizing servers to achieve cost savings while boosting efficiency and agility.
Traditionally, network administrators dedicated one server to one specific application. All of the servers’ resources went to running that one particular application. Sometimes, applications wouldn’t cooperate if they ran on the same server. Additionally, it was easier to track problems with the application or server this way. But issues arose.
The issue became one of physical space. As the network of applications and servers grew, they began to occupy too much physical space, creating need to expand data center space and invest in expensive hardware. Also, this model resulted in a lot of unused computing/processing power as servers only utilized a fraction of their resources to run the application.
Physical Servers and Virtual Servers
Although server virtualization has been around for a while, it continues to solve problems that IT teams still face. To virtualize a server requires special software. With it, IT teams can convert 1 physical server into several virtual machines. Each virtual server acts like a unique physical device capable of running its own operating system. This helps consolidate infrastructure and utilize more computing power from the physical server, one of the many benefits of server virtualization.
To get full virtualization, IT teams utilize a software called a hypervisor. The hypervisor interacts with the CPU and computing resources of the physical server (the host) and serves as a platform for the virtual servers’ (guests) to run on. A hypervisor separates each virtual server so that the actions on one virtual server have no impact on another virtual server. As each virtual server requests resources to run applications, the hypervisor communicates to the physical server to monitor and allocate those resources back to the virtual server. Here’s why IT teams virtualize their environments:
Benefits of Server Virtualization
There are many benefits of server virtualization. The first reason is to consolidate hardware. The issue of physical space is easily solved by virtualizing servers and utilizing more resources with less space. Another reason to virtualize is to create redundancy without purchasing more hardware. The idea is to have the same applications running on multiple servers so that in the case one of them fails or goes down, the other server replaces it. Additionally, IT teams utilize virtual servers to create isolated environments where they can conduct testing and development without impacting other virtual servers.
The Bottom Line
Virtualizing your IT environment can result in significant cost savings, better utilization of computing resources, and overall redundancy to your network. Contact us today to learn about our Virtual Server services and our best-of-breed technology that utilizes the best of breed virtualization software, vSphere from VMware.