Virtualization, what does it mean?

19.03.2019 1,315 0

So you’ve rented a powerful dedicated server from Cloudware and you want to fully utilize it, why not use virtualization? You don’t know what it is? It is a solution that can lower the need for multiple powerful devices to just one and you can use it for various task and under different OSes.

What is virtualization?

Virtualization is a technology that lets you use your hardware for various purposes at the same time by creating virtual machines on different layers. Imagine the following situation – you need 3 servers – a data server, mail server, and web server. Without visualization you will need 3 separate devices. But with it you can have all the servers in the same device, sharing its resources.

How does virtualization work?

There are hypervisors – special software which separates the physical resources – CPU, memory, HDD, etc. from the virtual environment. Hypervisors can be installed directly onto the server or on top of an existing OS on your computer. The software uses physical resources and allocates them based on the needs of the virtual environment.

History of virtualization

Virtualization can be traced back to the 1960s. It was used on mainframe computers and it didn’t become popular until the early 2000s. The early virtualization was in the form of hypervisors, used usually for payroll. They could perform routine tasks, quickly and multiple times. Later on, in the 1990s many of the enterprises had physical servers and used software from a single vendor. Each server could run just one vendor-specific task, not being able to run legacy applications.

Virtualization solved the two problems. It could run legacy applications and various OSes at the same time.

Types of virtualization

Data virtualization

Different data can be united in a single source. It lets companies use data as a dynamic resource, combining it for easy management.

Desktop virtualization

Here, we are talking about Desktop, not OS. An administrator can deploy a virtual desktop environment to many physical machines at the same time. The advantage is that this way the admin can update just one machine and share it with every client. This saves a lot of time.

Server virtualization

By using it, an admin can create many virtual servers from only one physical server. Each of them can run its own OS. This way, you can have different servers for different applications that share resources. This type of virtualization can also provide redundancy. You can have two identical servers. If one goes down, the other can still be used.

OS virtualization

You can use virtualization for operating systems too. That way you can run different versions of Windows or Linux, for example. Many companies use this to provide OS for their workers and cut down hardware costs. Workers can have a basic client device and use the resources of the Virtual Machine.

Network functions virtualization

You can use it to reduce the number of network devices – switches, routers, servers, cables, hubs, etc. The main advantage – it saves you money on infrastructure.

So now you know what virtualization is. You can use it for your company’s needs – testing under different OSes, having different virtual servers at the same time or sharing the resources of one dedicated server with many users.

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