4 Types of Virtualisation

Predominantly there are 4 main types of virtualisation used today (although there is some debate surrounding this) these are server, desktop, application and storage virtualisation. Each will be looked at in more detail below. 

Server Virtualisation

In modern business server virtualisation has become not only popular terminology but also one of the most useful resources available. At a time where companies and data centres were becoming overloaded with physical equipment, server virtualisation created a valuable solution by allowing multiple processes to be carried out on one machine instead of the situation in the past where one process meant one server.

This sharing of server resources offers significant cost savings, frees up server resources and allows for greater flexibility when it comes to server movement and because of the reduced reliance upon single machines, better recovery and resistance to disasters.

Desktop Virtualisation

This is likely to be the type of virtualisation most people have experience with; essentially it runs an additional operating system on a standard desktop operating system. Desktop virtualisation is regularly used in businesses as it allows the IT team to administrate the company’s computers and is also easy for users to utilise the system.

Typically, this form of virtualisation is carried out remotely, from a data centre, or locally, using resources within the local network. 

Application Virtualisation

Application virtualisation is similar to the desktop variety as it is presenting an interface to the user that is in addition to the standard operating system. However, rather than providing the user with an entire desktop, this form of virtualisation is limited to that application alone, preventing users from accessing any other elements. These can either be controlled locally or remotely.

Storage Virtualisation

Storage virtualisation is the separation of physical storage space into storage partitions, increasing the flexibility of storage resources and easing management. Normally storage virtualisation can be approached as either direct attached storage, network attached storage or as a storage area network. 

These are just 4 of the most common types of virtualisation; there are many ways to approach such processes and also myriad uses of virtual resources above and beyond those discussed in this post. 

Benefits of Server Virtualization Technology

What is Server Virtualization Technology?
Server virtualization is a practice growing in popularity amongst business for a number of reasons. Put simply server virtualization is the process of partitioning a physical server so that multiple virtual servers are created. Each virtual server operates independently and runs its own OS and applications making it possible to perform an array of functions such as consolidation, isolation and encapsulation with ease.

Benefits of server virtualization technology are explained below:

Downsizing Server Numbers
Through the consolidation of physical servers it is possible to reduce server numbers. The resulting benefits are reduced costs for air conditioning and power as well as the freeing up of floor space. When consolidation is carried out the virtual servers will still have to be managed and as such certain management software tools will be required.

The Reduction of Overall Costs
Server virtualization helps to reduce overall costs through the consolidation process. This is achieved by lower running costs such as air conditioning, hardware, maintenance and power. Virtualization can also help to reduce costs by increasing the efficiency of server resources which in turn can result in smaller management costs, as in most cases the virtual servers can be operated by a single administrator.

Better Availability
Server virtualization allows administrators to carry out live server migration, the process of migrating a virtual server to another physical server whilst remaining operational. This is extremely beneficial for those with websites as it allows technicians to carry out maintenance tasks on physical equipment without negatively affecting the physical servers, meaning website visitors can still visit and purchase even when the servers are undergoing maintenance.

Easier Testing
Testing new operating systems or other experimental activities can be carried out much easier with server virtualization. As before, the easy partitioning of a physical server means that one group of a business can be carrying out tests whilst the others remain fully functional, once again increasing availability and also providing much more efficient research and development. 
The points above give an indication of the benefits of server virtualization technology; essentially through consolidation, and partitioning it is possible for businesses to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs and in the long run, improve profitability. 


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