Introduction to Virtualization

The term Virtualization is described as the decoupling of a service request or system resource from the underlying physical infrastructure that powers the service. It is the science of emulating a hardware functionality within a software system – creating a virtual version of a physical systems such as hardware platforms, storage, and network resources. The hardware resources are logically distributed between software applications that can consume the computing power in virtual infrastructure environments without having to depend on the physical hardware components.

The benefits of virtualization

Reduced costs–Sharing hardware through virtualization reduces capital spending, where a single machine or IT resource can stand in for multiple machines or resources. This reduces the amount of capital spend on machinery and reduces maintenance costs.

Reduced application installation, upgrades, and maintenance – Application virtualization allows you to install critical applications on far fewer servers, provide quicker application upgrades, and maintain fewer copies of applications for users.

Increasing IT operations efficiency – Tasks such as server and workstation deployment, setup, and maintenance that used to take days or months, can be accomplished in minutes or hours, freeing IT Ops to focus on more business-specific tasks. Your IT staff becomes more efficient and productive.

Increased hardware utilization – Storage virtualization allows you to pool existing storage into a single storage pool, allowing you to repurpose and reuse existing storage, rather than having to decommission old storage. Running multiple VMs on a single machine increases the utilization of a server, running the server to its full capability

Faster desktop and server provisioning and deployment – servers or workstations can be cloned on existing machines and brought up within hours instead of days or months

Smaller footprints and energy savings – One of the best benefits of Virtualization is it reduces the size of Data Center resources, significantly reducing rack space and because you are running fewer machines, lowering energy costs. Reduced rack space also lowers Data Center costs and maintenance. Virtual networks don’t sprawl over as many machines, making it easier to create segmented subnets when servicing different companies or satisfying regulatory requirements, such as segmenting credit card processing for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) implementations

Portability and migration– One of the best benefits of Virtualization is Virtualization that makes it easy to move hardware configurations or copy hardware configurations between different hardware. Migration capabilities make it easier to migrate or clone machines to a different environment for business continuity, high availability, disaster recovery, or to create test or QA environments.

Easier migration to the cloud – Because virtualization technologies separate or abstract IT processing away from its underlying hardware and software environment, virtualization makes it easier to move processing to a cloud environment.