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Microsoft Virtualization Secrets by John Savill

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Virtualizing the Datacenter OS

In my role as a consultant and technical specialist, I talk to IT managers, directors of IT, and C-level executives, and each group can have a different perception of machine virtualization. What they all agree on, however, is that the benefits of moving from one physical box per operating system instance to a virtualized environment, which enables many OS instances to share a single physical server by creating virtual machines, are clear. Key benefits that organizations obtain through virtualization include the following:

  • Higher utilization of resources: Prior to virtualization it was very common to see physical servers running at 10 percent CPU utilization, leaving a large amount of memory unused. This was because servers were purchased with worst-case scenarios and years’ worth of potential growth in mind. Virtualized servers have much greater utilization. Storage is also more efficient with the move from direct attached storage for each server to shared storage on storage area networks (SANs) or network attached storage (NAS) devices.
  • Cost savings: Less hardware means less money spent purchasing hardware. It also means less rack space and less power used, and less power equals less money. Similarly, less hardware also means less cooling requirements, which also translates into less power and therefore more cost savings. Software licensing can also be reduced, as a number of products, including the Windows operating system and the System Center ...

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