What is Virtualization?

+++ From the online newsletter "HorizonWatch" from STG:

+++++ What is Virtualization

Virtualization is the process of presenting a logical grouping or subset of computing resources so that they can be accessed in ways that give benefits over the original configuration. Virtualization enables you to see and manage your computing resources in ways that offer more flexibility; you're not being restricted by implementation, location or physical packaging. With virtualization, you have a logical rather than a physical view of data, computing power, storage capacity and other resources. Up until recently, the buzz about virtualization has all been about server consolidation. However, there are some other reasons why firms might invest in virtualization offerings.

+++++ Some Reasons To Invest In Virtualization

  • Reduced complexity: The end user doesn't have to set up complex dependencies and wrestle with software versions and incompatibilities.
  • Better optimization: The software is alread configured by the people who knows it best. * Download and run functionality that leaves the end users with the task
  • Increase flexibility --- By enabling vendor choice, virtualization supports the pooling of resources that can be centrally managed through an enterprise hub to better support dynamically changing business requirements.
  • Better resource utilization: This leads to less power usage for the actual servers and subsequently less heat generation which in turn reduces the need for cooling.
  • Less Space Needed: Cramming Virtual Appliances into less physical boxes, also reduces the need for space.
  • End the one app, one box race. In theory you can multiple applications on one server, but normally you end up running dedicated servers for dedicated applications.
  • Enable access through shared infrastructure --- Virtualization provides a resilient foundation and shared infrastructure that enables better access to infrastructure and information in support of business applications and services oriented architecture (SOA).
  • Increased portability: Since the hardware is virtualized, Virtual Appliances are portable.
  • Improve total cost of ownership (TCO): : Running virtual appliances can be dirt cheap. * By decreasing management costs and increasing asset utilization, you can be able to experience a rapid return on investment (ROI) with virtualization. And by virtualizing resources and making them easier to migrate or fail over to other physical devices or locations, you can enhance system availability and help lower the cost and complexity of disaster-recovery solutions.

+++++ Types of Virtualization Offerings

  • Virtualization Solutions
    • Infrastructure simplification
    • Rapid application deployment
    • Business resiliency/Disaster Recovery
  • Virtualization infrastructure
    • Server virtualization
    • Storage virtualization
    • Application virtualization
  • Virtualization management

+++++ What Virtualization Trends are Emerging?

  • Virtualization will expand beyond just servers and into the desktop realm (e.g. VDI)
  • Virtualization will expand beyond server/desktop consolidation.
  • Virtualization technology's next step is to get better performance from VMs to assist the move deeper into the enterprise.
  • Virtualization may act as a conduit for software vendors to deliver application appliances to you preconfigured and ready to go, You just modify some settings for your environment and you are up and running.
  • Built-in virtualization technology at the hardware / chip level will take it to the next step.
  • Virtualization solutions will become more evolved and will start to offer experimental data center automation.
  • Virtual machines may be able to clone themselves and enable load sharing when performances go under a certain service-level agreement
  • Virtual machines invoke a snapshot when a network attack is detected, then send the attacker's hard disk modifications to the security department.

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Topic revision: r8 - 2007-05-15 - CherylMorris
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