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Why Virtualization?

by David Moorman, President

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Virtualization is a proven software technology that is rapidly transforming the IT landscape and fundamentally changing the way that people compute. Virtualization lets you run multiple virtual servers or desktops on a single physical machine (host), sharing the resources of that single computer across multiple environments. Virtualization works by inserting a thin layer of software directly on the computer hardware or host and then loading multiple versions of the operating systems on top of it. Multiple operating systems run concurrently on a single physical computer and share hardware resources with each other. You can safely run several operating systems and applications at the same time on a single computer, with each having access to the resources it needs when it needs them. So what are some other benefits of virtualization?

Increase Infrastructure Utilization

Typical server deployments achieve an average utilization of only 10% to 15% of total capacity, according to International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research firm. Organizations typically run one application per server to avoid the risk of vulnerabilities in one application affecting the availability of another application on the same server. With virtualization, physical machines can run many separate virtual machines, maximizing capacity of existing resources while still maintaining high availability.

Decrease Physical Infrastructure Costs
The operational costs to support growing physical infrastructure have steadily increased. Most computing infrastructure must remain operational at all times, resulting in power consumption, cooling and facilities costs that do not vary with utilization levels. Virtualization allows a business to make the most of the physical equipment they do have and put off purchases.

Decrease IT Management Costs
As computing environments become more complex, the level of specialized education and experience required for infrastructure management personnel and the associated costs of such personnel have increased. Organizations spend disproportionate time and resources on manual tasks associated with server and desktop maintenance, and thus require more personnel to complete these tasks. Controlling a distributed desktop environment and enforcing management, access and security policies without impairing users' ability to work effectively is complex and expensive. Virtualization minimizes the time spent on everyday maintenance of desktops and servers by centrally controlling security settings, updates, and patches.

Failover and Disaster Protection
Organizations are increasingly affected by the downtime of critical server applications and inaccessibility of critical end user desktops. The threat of security attacks, natural disasters, health pandemics and terrorism has elevated the importance of business continuity planning for both desktops and servers. Virtualization allows for redundancy, meaning if a server fails, the data and applications on that machine are easily offloaded to a functioning server.

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