Virtualization software is software that emulates computer hardware. Virtualization software allows you to run multiple operating systems on the same computer, at the same time. Each of these operating systems acts as a separate physical computer, complete with its own hard drive, memory, network connections, and so on.
There are two main uses for virtualization software in a Team Foundation Server context:
By installing multiple virtual machines (VM) on one powerful computer, you can take advantage of unused resources. Most servers use 20 percent or less of their resources, such as processor and RAM. Installing multiple VMs on a server allows you to take full advantage of the hardware, allowing you to push the utilization of server resources as far as possible. This also leads to less physical servers to have to maintain. Expensive computer hardware is used to its fullest potential, and less money is being spent on new hardware.
VMs also assist in software testing. Many times, you want to test an upgrade to a mission-critical application in a test environment as close to that of production as possible. However, acquiring the hardware to create this environment can be very expensive. Using VMs, you can create a test network very similar to your production network, but at less cost than purchasing duplicate hardware. VMs are also useful for testing patches before pushing them out to your corporate machines. As well, ...