Server virtualization is when server resources are masked. Masked resources include the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors, and operating systems, from server users. A designated administrator uses a software application to divide one physical server into multiple, isolated, virtual environments. The virtual environments are also known as guests, instances, containers or emulations.

There are many reasons why you would want to consider this:

  • Resource Optimization – Today’s enterprise level computer resources are so powerful that they often have excess capacity. By virtualizing the hardware and allocating parts of it based on the real needs of users and applications, the available computing power, storage space and network bandwidth can be used much more effectively.
  • Consolidation – It is common practice to dedicate individual computers to a single application. If several applications only use a small amount of processing power, the administrator can consolidate several computers into one server running multiple virtual environments.
  • Maximizing Uptime – Agility is all about being able to respond to changing requirements as quickly as possible.
  • Protect Applications from Server Failure – Server virtualization provides a way to implement redundancy without purchasing additional hardware.
  • Easily Migrate Workloads as Needs Change and Protect Investment in Existing, Legacy Systems – Migration refers to moving a server environment from one place to another. With most virtualization solutions it is possible to move a virtual machine from one physical machine in the environment to another. With physical servers this was originally possible only if both physical machines ran on the same hardware, operating system and processor.