Server Virtualization as a concept is not very new in computing as it was used in mainframe computers to divide their workload – facilitating them to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. The concept evolved with modern computing methods in the early 2000s. Its implementation may well have changed with the latest modern computing tools of the new era but the concept in its purpose essentially remains the same. In the process of Server Virtualization, a physical or hardware server is divided into several VPS or Virtual Private Servers. Each of the VPS can then function independently with its own Operating System. This segmentation is done with the help of a specifically designed specialized application software.
How does it Work and What is the Importance of Server Virtualization
Let us get into a bit more detail by first refreshing our minds on the definition of a server. We know a server is a computer system that receives data requests from the other systems in a network and it would work to fulfill their requests. It is traditionally one server that is assigned for one particular task. But with the number of tasks and applications increasing it would naturally get too difficult to maintain so many physical servers dedicated to those tasks. Moreover, all the physical space at the workplace and electricity that would be needed to keep them operational would lead the expenses of your enterprise to skyrocket. So it is here that we have a way of rescuing in the form of Server Virtualization.
Now as we discussed earlier, Server Virtualization is the process in which a physical server is parted into several isolated, and smaller virtualize servers. With this, you would not require any added new servers, but with the help of specialized virtualization software, you’d get the server partitions of the hardware server in these isolated servers, virtual in nature. These would be able to function independently with their own Operating Systems or OS. The importance of Server Virtualization can be understood by the multiple benefits it offers to users. Server Virtualization has several benefits such as minimizing your operational and hardware costs, as well as increasing the performance and efficiency of Server resources.
Other Advantages of Server Virtualization Include:
Disaster Recovery Solutions
As the data can be moved from one particular server to another easily without taking much time it would make for an effective disaster management solution for you.
Reduces Your Expenses
Server Virtualization would vastly decrease your energy costs since you would be having lesser physical servers using power. This will impact your business positively.
Is Secure and Saves Space
The users can store important data in the data centers securely. Besides that, multiple virtual servers hosting on a single physical server would make up for any additional space you need in the data center.
Better Management of Resources
The process of Server Virtualization also helps to limit user access to the server resources and the users would only get limited access to as many resources as are needed for them.
Faster Server Deployment
Since most of the apps would need to access a new server, it would logically not be a good idea to adopt a “one server for one single application” approach because that would mean you buy and install several new physical servers and which is a lengthy process in itself too, other than being expensive. But with virtualizing servers, the deployment is possible in a much faster manner.
By making it possible for one physical server to do the task of many servers, virtualization allows you to save space in your business premises. Not only does it look neater but the productivity of your staff increases as well since they would have to do less to manage physical IT infrastructure that demands to be fully taken care of to keep in working condition.
Types of Server Virtualization:
There are a few common methods and types of Server Virtualization that can be effective for different needs and in various manners for the users. Those that rely on being Hypervisor based require some extra measures.
The Hypervisor has a very critical role in Server Virtualization. It has 2 types namely – Native/ Bare Metal or Type 1 Hypervisor, and Embedded/ Hosted or Type 2 Hypervisor. The Bare-metal (Native Hypervisor) directly operates in the hardware, whereas the Hosted (Embedded Hypervisor) functions on the Host machine’s OS.
In this type of Server Virtualization environment, Software -that has the compatibility to be executed in the Hardware- can run in the Virtual Machine (VM), and also an OS that is compatible with particular hardware can run on the Virtual Machine. It also uses a Hypervisor to communicate with the hardware server.
It is mostly just like Full Virtualization but there is an additional advantage to using Para Virtualization and that is its much easier implementation, along with the Hypervisor being able to manage the OS without a great extent of processing power.
With the help of this technique, the Central Processing Unit of the Host Server gets beforehand the division of resources that is required to support several Virtual Machines.
Operating System or OS Level Virtualization
While the three types mentioned above need a Hypervisor to set up a platform to operate upon, it is not so in the case of OS Level Virtualization. Here the OS of the host server is set up to provide for “Containers”, a term that is used to define Multiple Instances of VM.
With Server Virtualization, you are greatly helped in terms of improving the computing systems in your organization. Your IT staff can focus on internal tasks in a better manner, and you save expenses in so many ways. Not to mention it is much easier to set up a Virtual Server than manage multiple physical servers that would take a lot of energy and space in your business premises.