What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is a proven software technology that is rapidly transforming the IT landscape and changing the way that organizations compute. Virtualization technology makes it possible to run multiple operating systems and multiple applications on the same computer at the same time, increasing the utilization and flexibility of hardware, while reducing power consumption.
How Virtualization Works
Virtualization lets you transform hardware into software. Hardware resources (CPU, RAM, hard disk, and network controller) are leveraged and transformed to create a fully functional virtual machine that can run its own operating system and applications just like a "real" computer. Multiple virtual machines share hardware resources without interfering with each other so that you can safely run several operating systems and applications at the same time on a single computer.
The VMware Approach to Virtualization
The VMware approach to virtualization inserts a thin layer of software directly on the computer hardware or on a host operating system. This software layer creates virtual machines and contains a virtual machine monitor or “hypervisor” that allocates hardware resources dynamically and transparently so that multiple operating systems can run concurrently on a single physical computer without even knowing it.
However, virtualizing a single physical computer is just the beginning. VMware offers a robust virtualization platform that can scale across hundreds of interconnected physical computers and storage devices to form an entire virtual infrastructure.
Virtualization technology presents a number of opportunities for driving capital and operational efficiency above and beyond the simple benefit of safe partitioning. Our customers have harnessed the power of virtualization to better manage IT capacity, to provide better service levels, and to streamline IT processes. Virtual infrastructure is a dynamic mapping of physical resources to business needs. While a virtual machine represents the physical resources of a single computer, a virtual infrastructure represents the physical resources of the entire IT environment, aggregating computing resources and their attached network and storage into a unified pool of IT resources. Structurally, a virtual infrastructure consists of the following components:
Single-node hypervisors to enable full virtualization of each x86 computer.
A set of virtualization-based distributed system infrastructure services such as resource management to optimize available resources among virtual machines.
Automation solutions that provide special capabilities to optimize a particular IT process such as provisioning or disaster recovery.
By decoupling the entire software environment from its underlying hardware infrastructure, virtualization enables the aggregation of multiple servers, storage infrastructure and networks into shared pools of resources that can be delivered dynamically, securely and reliably to applications as needed. This approach enables organizations to build a computing infrastructure with high levels of utilization, availability, automation and flexibility using building blocks of inexpensive industry-standard servers.
Benefits of Virtualization
Virtualization solutions are ideal for production environments in part because they run on industry-standard servers and desktops, and support a wide range of operating system and application environments, as well as networking and storage infrastructure. The hypervisor functions independently of the hardware and operation system to provide customers with a broad platform choice. As a result, our virtualization provides a key integration point for hardware and infrastructure management vendors to deliver differentiated value that can be applied uniformly across all application and operating system environments. Our customers who have adopted our virtual infrastructure solutions have reported dramatic results, including:
60-80% utilization rates for x86 servers (up from 5-15% in non-virtualized PCs)
Cost savings of more than $3,000 annually for every workload virtualized
Ability to provision new applications in minutes instead of days or weeks
85% improvement in recovery time from unplanned downtime
Lore Systems has been using and deploying virtualization for our 8 years and is an expert in design and implementation.