Virtualization – Jason Wagner

You may have heard the terms ‘Virtual Machine’ or ‘Virtualization’ thrown around in the last few years but may not know what they mean or why they are so important to business.  Virtualization is a technology that enables the ability to run multiple separate servers on one physical piece of server hardware.

Let’s think about it like this – say that you have a pie.

Now you can give that pie to a single person, that person can eat pie until they are full, but there is too much and they throw the rest of the pie out.  Wasted pie!

OR

You can cut that pie into pieces, give a piece to multiple people and they all are full and no pie is wasted.  Efficient use of pie!

Often, different software needs to be installed onto completely separate servers.  The issue with this, especially in the Small to Medium Business range, is that companies end up with a whole bunch of underutilized physical servers.  There often are multiple shiny servers sitting at 5% CPU utilization with the other 95% of the processing power sitting idle on each physical server at a specific location.  This means a huge waste in physical hardware purchasing costs and maintenance costs.

With virtualization, we can have a single physical server and install multiple separate virtual servers on it.  These servers act and behave just like a normal physical server, but they are sharing the same physical hardware as other virtual servers on the physical server ‘host’.  This leads to a number of huge benefits:

1) The ability to properly utilize physical servers

2) Cost savings on hardware and maintenance

3) Transportability of the virtual servers.  Virtual servers can be easily copied between physical servers and are hardware agnostic

4) Easy backups.  Virtual servers can make backing up the server a snap

Virtualization has become a mature and very necessary technology in the last few years and will continue to grow.  Already over 50% of servers worldwide are currently virtualized.

F12 has been a big fan of virtualization, using it on servers as an integral part of both Service Plus 3 and now Service Plus 4 over the last few years.  It is F12’s goal to ensure that all the pies out there are used as efficiently as possible, thus maximizing the deliciousness of your investments!

 

Jason Wagner

Supervisor
Network Operations Center

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