Cloud computing is the latest buzz in IT circles therefore it is not surprising for many IT infrastructures to adopt virtualization since it is considered as a step towards future adoption of cloud. Virtualization is an extremely cost effective approach to increase bandwidth in addition to explore a wide spectrum of newly available management services.
Data center virtualization is essentially an important resource that enables use of a single physical server for operating multiple Virtual Machines that leverage server’s operating system to mitigate hardware and manpower requirements.
Therefore more and more organizations are moving to data canter virtualization. The following article attempts to explain ways to enhance bandwidth by implementing virtualization in addition to difference between virtualization and conventional shared servers.
Brief insight into data center virtualization
Process of dividing a single physical server into number of virtual hardware instances is termed as data center virtualization. The principal aim of virtualization is to make sure that every virtual hardware subset is capable of delivering the same functionalities of the physical server.
Every virtualized subset is known as a Virtual Machine that is provided with a virtual hardware to enable user install operating system as well as applications in the same fashion as these are installed on physical servers.
Adoption of virtualization at data centers has been growing significantly for the past decade and the same can be attributed to its impressive array of advantages such as lower infrastructure costs, enhanced online availability and management services, and superior utilization of optimized hardware.
Key differences between virtualization and traditional shared servers
There is a considerable confusion in terms of proper understanding of how virtualization differs from traditional shared servers. It is important to understand that a shared environment provides virtualization services to clients and these services help server operate efficiently.
It is the hardware and services that underline the key difference. By virtualization we are actually referring to the software that is capable of manipulating hardware of the server. Every shared environment refers to services that are the outcome of this manipulation.
Role of virtualization in improving hosting bandwidth
Improvement of bandwidth availability in virtualized data centers can be primarily attributed to the shared aspects of servers. Virtualization divides a single physical server into number of virtual servers that directly depend on the physical server’s capabilities and thus reduce additional application installation and traffic flows.
This has direct impact on improved bandwidth availability. Virtualization is also responsible for automatic mitigation of bottlenecks in terms of input and output traffic thereby facilitating smooth flow and speed improvement.
Continuous and automatic analysis of traffic can help prevent switch failures and network overloads in addition to offering usage projections on long term basis. The projections can empower users to gain ability of predicting future traffic flow to avoid bottlenecks.
Improved efficiency of IT operations
Virtualization not only reduces hardware as well as staffing requirements, it is also responsible for simplification of IT operations. Jobs of IT staff are streamlined due to ease of installing and maintaining software in addition to easier distribution of software updates to ensure a more secure network. As compared to traditional environment, virtualization offers less downtime quicker recovery and fewer outages.
Data center consolidation
Virtualization’s most compelling advantage is consolidation of data center to reduce data center footprint. One needs to use fewer servers lesser racks, and even lesser networking gear to reduce overall space requirement of a data center. This can translate to great savings, especially for the users of colocation services.
This is a direct effect of data center consolidation. Since you have lesser number of physical servers you are not only reducing a data center footprint but are also mitigating dissipation of heat and overall energy footprint as well.
Greater uptime and faster disaster recovery
Virtualization enables better business continuity and an increased uptime due to increase in bandwidth as discussed earlier. With virtualization of data centers, it is possible to rapidly recover from unplanned outages.
Greater ability to recover from disaster is one of the important benefits of data center virtualization. This feature is the result of three vital components. The first component is capability of virtualization to abstract hardware. This frees the user from relying on a specific model of server or a vendor.
There is no need to maintain identical hardware that matches production environment. IT infrastructure can install cheaper hardware at Disaster Recovery site. It is possible to develop a compact replication site since there is a significant server consolidation, thanks to data center virtualization.
Sever virtualization is a precursor to cloud adoption. It is undoubtedly a game changer in IT. There is a greater than ever urgent need to adopt data center virtualization due to scarcity of space and other resources, greater need for environment friendly technologies and increased need for disaster readiness.
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