Virtualization is the process of creating a software-based, or virtual, representation of something, such as virtual applications, servers, storage and networks. It is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility for all size businesses.
Benefits of Virtualization
Virtualization can increase IT agility, flexibility and scalability while creating significant cost savings. Greater workload mobility, increased performance and availability of resources, automated operations – they’re all benefits of virtualization that make IT simpler to manage and less costly to own and operate. Additional benefits include:
- Reduced capital and operating costs.
- Minimized or eliminated downtime.
- Increased IT productivity, efficiency, agility and responsiveness.
- Faster provisioning of applications and resources.
- Greater business continuity and disaster recovery.
- Simplified data center management.
- Availability of a true Software-Defined Data Center..
A thin layer of software called a “hyper visor” decouples the virtual machines from the host and dynamically allocates computing resources to each virtual machine as needed.
Key Properties of Virtual Machines
VMs have the following characteristics, which offer several benefits.
- Run multiple operating systems on one physical machine.
- Divide system resources between virtual machines.
- Provide fault and security isolation at the hardware level.
- Preserve performance with advanced resource controls.
- Save the entire state of a virtual machine to files.
- Move and copy virtual machines as easily as moving and copying files.
Virtualization vs. Cloud Computing
Although equally buzz-worthy technologies, virtualization and cloud computing are not interchangeable. Virtualization is software that makes computing environments independent of physical infrastructure, while cloud computing is a service that delivers shared computing resources (software and/or data) on demand via the Internet. As complementary solutions, organizations can begin by virtualizing their servers and then moving to cloud computing for even greater agility and self-service.