Chapter 5. Deciding Whether Server Virtualization Is Right for You

In This Chapter

  • Deciding whether you should use server virtualization

  • Finding out when not to use virtualization

Virtualization (in case you're not in the know) is a software technology that helps you achieve better financial and operational results from your computing infrastructure. As such, it has benefits perhaps too numerous to mention, but here are the really good ones:

  • Increased utilization of hardware: Many data centers have machines installed running at no more than 10 or 15 percent capacity. Although it's good to provide extra capacity (often called headroom) for spikes in processing requirements, too much headroom translates into wasted capacity. Virtualization can consolidate many operating systems (OSes) onto a single physical piece of hardware, increasing utilization dramatically.

  • Decreased power costs: Every server uses electricity to power its processor, memory, hard drives, and fans — whether it's working at 10 percent of capacity or 90 percent of capacity. The racks full of machines in data centers suck up an enormous amount of power, so reducing the total number of physical servers through the application of virtualization technology can reduce the amount of power consumed in the data center. Also, servers throw off heat while they run; this heat must be removed from the data center so that the machines continue to operate properly. Using virtualization to reduce the overall number of physical servers ...

Get Virtualization For Dummies® now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.