Chapter 13

Virtualizing Enterprise Systems

In This Chapter

Understanding virtualization in the enterprise

Identifying server virtualization issues and best practices

Recognizing user environment options

Glimpsing cloud computing possibilities

Virtualization has become a buzzword touching many different elements of the enterprise, from virtualized servers and virtualized desktops to virtualized storage and virtual applications.

Virtualization allows an enterprise to take advantage of economies of scale and standardize platforms across a very large environment and access licensed software resources on demand, all while controlling costs. Because modern hardware is capable of running multiple operations simultaneously, servers are often underutilized and may spend most of their time idle. Instead of continuing to increase the number of physical machines, using robust hardware to host multiple virtual machines is more efficient. By using a larger percentage of the physical host machine’s true capabilities, greater value is gained from the purchase of that hardware.

For example, a developer may need multiple servers to separate functions, such as database, authentication, and Web presentation, in a new application. Instead of having three systems, as would have been necessary a decade ago, a single physical server can host all three distinct systems, each with its own dedicated resources.

In this chapter, we look at the use of virtualization in server and desktop environments and ...

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