Servers are powerful computing machines designed to host files and a variety of applications centrally. Most servers are made up of multiple CPUs, which is what gives the machines their capability to handle several tasks at a go. Network admins assign dedicated processing units to different applications. While this approach makes it a lot easier to keep track of arising issues within applications without affecting other applications, the problem with it is that it does not leverage the enormous processing power of modern-day server computers. For this approach to continue working, we need to add multiple servers to the system as the network scales up. To solve this problem, admins can employ server virtualization – this is where specially designed software is used to convert one server to several standalone virtual machines/ Server virtualization employs the use of software to create more than one virtual instance on a physical server. At the same time, it combines several operating systems on one server. Virtual servers increase technical capabilities and help reduce app downtimes without going over the budget. Full Virtualization In the model shown here, full virtualization uses something known as a hypervisor, which isolates guest machines and communicates directly to the physical server. However, it is worth noting that full virtualization has one limitation – it has its own separate processing needs, something that can slow down applications on the server. Paravirtualization The paravirtualization model generally involves the entire network working in unison as a single unit. At the same time, it abolishes the need for the different virtual machines inside the network to trap instructions, making the entire system more time-efficient. Once the network’s operating system identifies the existence of the hypervisor, it communicates directly to it using hypercalls. Operating System Virtualization The operating virtualization model doesn’t use hypervisors like Paravirtualization and Full Virtualization. This is because the model allows more than one instance of user space to exist. Server Virtualization Benefits Cost Savings Working with a virtual server means less management and maintenance. When an organization switches from physical servers to virtual machines, which means reduced physical server size, it should expect to see savings when it comes to cooling and power. At the same time, fewer physical servers require lesser hardware. Increases Uptime Another benefit of using server virtualization is that it offers advanced features – features that aren’t available in physical servers. These features are what help increase uptime. Something worth noting is that it takes less time to recover data, distribute workloads, and implement new applications and technology with server virtualization. Improves Efficiency If an organization uses server virtualization, the different virtual servers in the system act in place of a single physical server. As a result, efficiency goes up since the virtual servers in the network produce the same result/output as a single physical server but more effectively. Improves Disaster Recovery Another benefit of server virtualization is that it comes with a recovery feature. It’s worth keeping in mind that information isn’t tied to the physical server but to several servers. As such, if one entity crashes, there’s no need to fear – data in the other servers is perfectly safe. Image-Based Backups Another thing worth noting about server virtualization is that it has a backup feature that can be used to restore the entire virtual server system. Organizations can quickly and effectively backup entire virtual machines and restore them if need be. Furthermore, image-based backup saves time and makes system recovery easier. Cloud Integration Abstracting hardware and making servers virtual makes it easier for businesses to move to the cloud. The first thing organizations need to do is migrate from a public cloud to a private one. However, as technology advances and the public cloud matures, it will be much easier for businesses to move their data out of data centers into cloud hosting facilities. Server Virtualization Cons Security Risk Data security does determine the success of a business. It is worth noting that server virtualization does present a security risk to businesses. To mitigate this, organizations have to spend a bit more on data security to protect sensitive business information. Some Applications Can’t Be Virtualized One major drawback of server virtualization is that some applications aren’t virtualization-friendly. The reason for this is that not all software or hardware vendors support virtualization. Fortunately, a majority of applications on the market are virtualization-friendly. Upfront Costs Depending on the network and hardware you use, you might have to invest in more hardware to ensure server virtualization is implemented successfully. Fortunately, a majority of organizations have more than enough infrastructure to support the virtualization of their server network. As a business owner, consider hiring the services of a managed IT services provider and let them help you figure out which option best suits your business – whether to work with monthly leasing or to purchase plans. Conclusion As you can tell, server virtualization has more benefits than disadvantages. And with advances in technology, helping solve and facilitate many operations, you can rest assured that server virtualization will only get better. If, as a business, you want full control of your server(s), then virtualization is the way to go.