What Is Virtualization?
Virtualization is the process in which virtual (not actual) versions of resources (such as operating systems (OS), servers, storage devices, network resources, etc.) are created out of another resource. Virtualization is the method of separating the software and the resources (listed above) that are required to execute it. It is important to note that multiple resources can be accessed from a single server, which yields benefits such as fewer servers, less energy consumption due to less hardware and less in-house maintenance.
Types of Virtualizations and how they operate
- Hardware (or Server) Virtualization – This is perhaps the most common type of virtualization today. Hardware virtualization is made possible by a virtual machine manager (VM) called the “hypervisor”. The hypervisor creates virtual versions of computers and operating systems and consolidates them into one large physical server, so that all the hardware resources can be utilized more efficiently. It also enables users to run different operating systems on the same machine at the same time.
- Desktop Virtualization – Is a method that separates the desktop environment from the physical device and configured as a “virtual desktop infrastructure” (VDI). The major advantages of desktop virtualization is that users are able to access all their personal files and applications from any location and on any PC, meaning they can work from anywhere without the need to bring their work computer. It also lowers the cost of licensing for installing software on desktops and maintenance and patch management is very simple, since all of the virtual desktops are hosted at the same location.
- Application (or Software) Virtualization – is a process where applications (or software) get virtualized and are delivered from a server to the end user’s device, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. So instead of logging into their computers at work, users will be able to gain access to the application from virtually anywhere, provided an Internet connection is available. This type of virtualization is particularly popular for businesses that require the use of their applications on the go.
- Network Virtualization – is a method that combines all physical networking equipment into a single resource. It is the process of dividing bandwidth into multiple, independent channels, each of which can be assigned to servers and devices in real time. Businesses that would benefit from network virtualization are ones that have a large number of users and need to keep their systems up and running at all times. With the distributed channels, your network speed will increase dramatically, allowing you to deliver services and applications faster than ever before.
- Storage Virtualization – This type of virtualization is very easy and cost-effective to implement, since it involves compiling your physical hard drives into a single cluster. Storage virtualization is handy when it comes to planning for disaster recovery, since the data stored on your virtual storage can be replicated and transferred to another location. By consolidating your storage into a centralized system, you can eliminate the hassles and costs of managing multiple storage devices.
What are the Benefits of Virtualization to organizations?
Virtualization can increase IT agility, flexibility, and scalability while creating significant cost savings. Workloads get deployed faster, performance and availability increases and operations become automated, resulting in IT that’s simpler to manage and less costly to own and operate. Additional benefits include:
- Reduce capital and operating costs.
- Minimize or eliminate downtime.
- Increase IT productivity, efficiency, alertness and responsiveness.
- Provision applications and resources faster.
- Enable business continuity and disaster recovery.
- Simplify data center management.
- Build a true Software-Defined Data Center
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