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Virtualization of Servers Leads to Data Center Efficiency, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Many network administrators have a continual need to add more server capacity to their data centers. At the same time, however, they want to reduce total costs. Without the application of a relatively new concept called “virtualization,” managers know that their servers, in many cases, are running at only 5% to 10% capacity.  Traditionally, servers were set up to run only one application at a time on one server, due to a fear that an effort to run multiple applications could lead to server failure.

Today, however, virtualization enables administrators to create multiple “virtual” servers on one machine.  Consequently, one server may be running eight or more applications, boosting capacity utilization to 60% or more.  This eliminates the need to install additional servers.  Space in the data center is optimized, equipment costs are lowered, and energy use is lowered.  A leader in this technology is VMware, Inc. of Palo Alto, California,, a former subsidiary of EMC.  Citrix Systems ( ) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a serious competitor.

The partition of one server into several “virtual” servers is a software process.  Multiple virtual servers, and even multiple operating systems or applications, can be running on one physical server at the same time.  The software technology involved in virtualization oversees the physical server’s complete component setup, including the CPU, RAM, disk drives and network controllers.  Virtualization software sits on top of the physical server’s operating system, dynamically allocating resources into several virtual servers at once while avoiding potential conflicts. 



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