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Access the latest news, articles, tips, expert advice, learning guides, white papers, and webcasts covering all areas of server virtualization, such as virtualization platforms, server hardware, managing virtual environments, virtualization architectures and strategies, application issues and more. Our editors, resident experts and news writers are dedicated to helping IT organizations determine if virtualization is appropriate for their environments and, if it is, use that technology to gain unprecedented data center efficiency.

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Evaluate hyper-converged technologies based on business needs

Knowing the evolution of hyper-converged technologies and different platforms is important, but you also need to understand your current environment and organization.

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Definitions
  • hypervisor

    A hypervisor is a function which abstracts -- isolates -- operating systems and applications from the underlying computer hardware.

  • containerization (container-based virtualization)

    Containerization -- also called container-based virtualization and application containerization -- is an OS-level virtualization method for deploying and running distributed applications without launching an entire VM for each application.

  • Certified OpenStack Administrator

    Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) is a vendor-agnostic exam designed by the OpenStack Foundation in conjunction with a number of international partners to test an administrator's abilities in cloud management and day-to-day operations.

Browse Server Virtualization Topics

Benefits of server virtualization

Server virtualization brings clear benefits, including server consolidation and improved resource utilization, reduced power consumption and greater IT efficiency, reduced costs and server sprawl, improve server management, provisioning and configuration as well as operational performance. Get news, research and advice on how companies use server virtualization to reduce server hardware costs, increase performance and operational efficiency and manage data center environments more effectively. Read our tutorials on getting the benefits of server virtualization.

Recent Definitions

  • virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)

    Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a centralized server.

  • IT systems management

    Systems management is the administration of the information technology systems in an enterprise data center. An effective systems management plan facilitates the delivery of IT as a service (ITaaS) and allows the organization's employees to respond to changing business requirements in an agile manner.

  • virtualization

    Virtualization is the creation of a virtual version of something, with the goal of centralizing administrative tasks while improving scalability and workloads.

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Challenges of server virtualization

Despite the clear benefits of server virtualization, there are obvious challenges to successful server virtualization deployment, including server virtualization management hurdles, server consolidation best practices, server migration issues, virtualization support, licensing, and interoperability issues, virtualization cost-versus-performance tradeoffs and more. In this section on server virtualization's challenges, we cover virtualized data center management challenges such as curbing virtual server sprawl, reducing downtime and preventing virtual machine security breaches, how to write effective virtualization service-level agreements to ensure quality of service, how to overcome virtualization licensing hurdles and considerations, the problem of virtual server sprawl, how to contend with increasing virtualization systems management complexity, virtual machine security, per-socket, per server, metered licensing and other virtualization software licensing models, and how to ensure adequate support for virtualization.

Recent Definitions

  • virtual machine (VM)

    A virtual machine (VM) is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications.

  • zombie VM

    A zombie VM is a virtual machine that is created for a particular purpose, such as development or testing, that is forgotten when it is no longer needed for that purpose. As a result, it continues to consume resources while performing no useful work.

  • hypervisor attack

    A hypervisor attack can allow hackers to take control of your VMs. While numerous guest OS and network security vulnerabilities exist in a virtual environment, a successful hypervisor attack could have devastating consequences.

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Server virtualization hypervisors and management

VMware, Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization and Citrix Systems' XenServer present pros and cons in terms of your virtualization architecture and strategy. Whether you use a single provider or have a heterogeneous virtualized environment, these resources help parse the hype on virtualization providers' platforms, management tools, and more so you can choose the platform that makes sense for your environment – and make informed choices about migrating to a different virtualization provider. You can also learn how to install and manage hypervisors such as VMware ESX or vSphere as well as installing Citrix XenServer, Oracle VM or other virtualization technologies. And we also discuss the benefits of migrating from VMware to, say, Hyper-V and provide cost/benefit comparisons of the various virtualization vendors' technologies. This section delves deep into the capabilities of virtualization providers' virtualization technologies and management tools. We provide news analysis, research and step-by-step tutorials on the various virtualization hypervisors and platforms and evaluate their benefits and disadvantages in terms of performance, cost, security, reliability, support, licensing considerations, and more.

Recent Definitions

  • virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)

    Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a centralized server.

  • hypervisor

    A hypervisor is a function which abstracts -- isolates -- operating systems and applications from the underlying computer hardware.

  • containerization (container-based virtualization)

    Containerization -- also called container-based virtualization and application containerization -- is an OS-level virtualization method for deploying and running distributed applications without launching an entire VM for each application.

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Server virtualization infrastructure and architecture

How you build your virtualization infrastructure and architecture is one of the most major decisions you make, and your choices will dictate whether your virtualized environment helps you consolidate physical servers, space, reduce costs and improve resource utilization or whether it suffers from performance problems, virtual machine security risks, virtual sprawl, virtualization licensing and compliance problems, and other management issues. From the server hardware, operating systems and networking choices to your choice of virtual systems management tools, your virtualized environment has certain requirements to ensure virtual machine performance, system uptime, VM security and compliance and more. Whether you're building a private cloud or developing an environment for a public cloud, you need to know how to design and architect your virtualization environment for these requirements. This section provides news, advice and how-to's on building a virtualized infrastructure, so you make can informed decisions about your virtualization environment make sense for your virtualized architecture and offers best practices on how to build a server virtualization architecture that grows with your business needs and technical requirements.

Recent Definitions

  • hypervisor

    A hypervisor is a function which abstracts -- isolates -- operating systems and applications from the underlying computer hardware.

  • containerization (container-based virtualization)

    Containerization -- also called container-based virtualization and application containerization -- is an OS-level virtualization method for deploying and running distributed applications without launching an entire VM for each application.

  • virtualization

    Virtualization is the creation of a virtual version of something, with the goal of centralizing administrative tasks while improving scalability and workloads.

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Server virtualization management tools and practices

While virtual systems management tools and best practices can improve virtual machine (VM) performance, ease virtual management burdens, and help administrators plan for system change and growth, most virtualization administrators can attest to the challenges of managing dynamic virtualized server environments. This section of news, technical advice and how-to information is designed to help with the challenges that server virtualization can bring: curbing virtual sprawl, performing physical-to-virtual (P2V) migrations, tools to monitor virtual machines, provisioning and configuring virtual machines, preventing VM downtime and planning strategies to build your virtualized data center, this section includes news, research and step-by-step tutorials on the best server virtualization management tools and practices for virtualized environments to help you improve performance, ease management burdens, work with heterogeneous virtualized environments, plan for data center growth and more.

Recent Definitions

  • virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)

    Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a centralized server.

  • virtualization

    Virtualization is the creation of a virtual version of something, with the goal of centralizing administrative tasks while improving scalability and workloads.

  • VM BIOS (virtual machine basic input/output system)

    A VM BIOS (virtual machine basic input/output system) is the set of instructions that controls the booting process of a virtual machine.

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Server virtualization security management and compliance policies

For virtualization administrators, virtual machine security has become an increasing concern. How do you monitor VMs for potential security risks and breaches? How do you prevent bugs from breaking through the virtual wall and attacking the host system? And which virtual machine guidelines should your IT shop adopt to ensure that your virtual machines are secure? So too, if your large virtualized virtualization environment suffers from a lack of compliance policies, it's no wonder you dread the prospect of an IT audit. The first step to easing the burden of staying compliant in a virtual world is bringing process and policies to your virtualized infrastructure. If you need help with securing virtual machines, preventing virtual machine security breaches, or guidance with an IT audit management for virtualized resources, this section offers advice, research and tutorials on the discovery and inventory of virtual machines (VMs), tracking and monitoring of VMs to ensure VM security, methods to harden virtual machines, how to create an audit trail of VM changes, preventing software licensing violations, and other guidelines to comply with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and more.

Recent Definitions

  • VMware Project Lightwave

    VMware Project Lightwave is an open source project designed to improve container security and access control.

  • VM stall

    VM stall is the point where it becomes just as cost-effective to deploy a physical server as it is to deploy a virtual server.

  • virtual switch

    A virtual switch is a software program that allows one virtual machine (VM) to communicate with another.

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Server virtualization staffing and budgets

Server virtualization has enabled companies to reduce IT budgets by cutting server hardware costs, reducing data center footprint and space needs, improving IT operational efficiency and, in some cases, reducing companies' IT staffing needs by streamlining server management. But for companies striving to save money with virtualization, the challenge lies in your choices. How can you gain optimum virtual machine performance and also reduce energy consumption? Can reduction in data center energy-efficiency costs offset other new purchases such as for hardware purchases or other virtualization management tools? Get news, case studies and advice on virtualizing servers to reduce IT costs. Learn how virtualization consolidates servers, eliminates hardware costs and reduces power consumption. Learn about the best hardware, server virtualization management tools and other considerations in reducing data center power consumption.

Recent Definitions

  • Certified OpenStack Administrator

    Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) is a vendor-agnostic exam designed by the OpenStack Foundation in conjunction with a number of international partners to test an administrator's abilities in cloud management and day-to-day operations.

  • virtualization administrator

    A virtualization administrator is an employee whose responsibilities include virtual environment set up and maintenance, in addition to traditional sysadmin duties.

  • MCSE Private Cloud (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Private Cloud)

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) Private Cloud is a new Microsoft certification covering Windows 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012, as well as applications such as SharePoint and Exchange.

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Server virtualization strategies and use cases

There are several ways to use virtualization, from setting up test and development environments to consolidating physical servers and, thus, reducing hardware costs to equipping a mobile workforce with virtualized laptops to creating a data center disaster recovery site. This section covers the various ways in which virtual technologies are being used today to reduce data center costs, minimize data center footprint, eliminate unneeded physical servers, aid with physical server backup and recovery and enable mobile workers through virtual desktop infrastructure and virtualized desktops. We cover the pros and cons of these various use cases and how to get the most from each application of virtualized technologies.

Recent Definitions

  • virtual machine (VM)

    A virtual machine (VM) is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing in which a third-party provider hosts virtualized computing resources over the Internet.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    Platform as a service is a cloud model in which providers deliver apps over the Internet and host users' hardware and software on their infrastructure.

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Virtualization backup and disaster recovery strategies

With server virtualization for disaster recovery, you can develop a business continuity strategy that includes backup and recovery techniques with virtualized servers rather than dedicating idle physical servers to backup tasks. In addition to reducing hardware costs and data center footprint, using server virtualization as part of your disaster recovery strategy can improve system uptime and recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives as well as ensure the integrity of the data you retrieve. Using virtualization for disaster recovery can also help with testing and development of your recovery site. In this section, we offer resources on server virtualization for disaster recovery and provide tutorials on requirements and best practices for creating a disaster recovery site with virtualization, the pros and cons of backup techniques such as file-level versus block-level deduplication, snapshotting, using golden images to restore data, failover technologies, the pros and cons of Fibre Channel versus iSCSI storage area networks (SANs), the advantages and disadvantages of hosted disaster recovery services, and more.

Recent Definitions

  • Windows File Share Witness (FSW)

    A Windows File Share Witness is a file share available to nodes in a high availability cluster. The feature helps ensure cluster operations can continue in the event of a node failure.

  • Network Load Balancing (NLB)

    Network Load Balancing is a Windows Server feature that can distribute network traffic among multiple servers.

  • stretched cluster

    A stretched cluster is a deployment model in which two or more virtualization host servers are part of the same logical cluster but located in separate geographical locations.

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