Chapter 15. Virtualizing the Computing Environment

In This Chapter

  • Seeing how virtualization evolved

  • Knowing how virtualization works

  • Dealing with management issues

  • Moving virtualization to the cloud

Why are we putting virtualization and cloud computing together in a discussion of service management?

Virtualization (using computer resources to imitate other computer resources or even whole computers) is one of the technical foundations of cloud computing (providing computing services via the Internet). We think that these two concepts are important to the data center and its destiny.

In this chapter, we present an overview of virtualization: what it means and how it is structured. We follow that discussion by explaining cloud computing. We also look at how the combination of virtualization and cloud computing is transforming the way services are managed.

Understanding Virtualization

Many companies have adopted virtualization as a way to gain efficiency and manageability in their data center environments. Virtualization has become a pragmatic way for organizations to shrink their server farms.

Essentially, virtualization decouples the software from the hardware. Decoupling means that software is put in a separate container so that it's isolated from operating systems.

Virtualization comes in many forms, because one resource is emulating (imitating) another resource. Here are some examples:

  • Virtual memory: PCs have virtual memory, which is an area of the disk that's used as though it were memory. ...

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