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What is Virtualization? Explained simply and practically

Virtualization is most popular buzz world these days, specially server virtualization, people are sometime thinking why should i go for virtualization as computers and servers are getting cheaper day by day.

But virtualization is a broad term it includes, Server, Platform, Storage, Desktop and Network etc.

Why I need Server Virtualization?

There are various reasons and one of the most important reason is utilizing the idle resources. Maximizing the efficiency.

There are various challenges also faced by IT Departments in the data centers for example, space, power and the budget.

When talking about Best Practices, it is not feasible to have all the services on one server. This means for every server a seperate server. A common list that a typical organization has is below;

  • Database Server
  • Web Server
  • Application Server
  • File Server
  • Exchange Server
  • Domain Controller
  • Active Directory
  • PBX Server

The reason we need to have separate server for each service is the disaster, if any IT Disaster occurs, a server fails then only one service will be effected.

But what if each server is utilizing only 20% its computing power, Storage, Processing Power and Memory. And if we look for each server then we are wasting a lot of computer power. On the other hand, we are also consuming electricity which means a normal server consumes at least 750 watts of electricity. What about space that a physical server occupies? Then to maintain hardware we need more people. This is where Virtualization comes.

How to Start with Virtualization?

You can have a Virtualization Server where each server can be configured as virtual server. Now you must be having question in mind that risk of failure is that .

Yes failure risk is there but it is easy to take an image of virtual machines and restore them when needed. But here our Virtualization server is now most critical server. If VM Server Fails then imagine what will happen.

Not every hardware supports virtualization. The server for virtualization is called Hypervisor. Hypervisor is virtualization lawyer which remains between hardware and the the virtualization operating system. It can be said in other way that hypervisor can be of any type Para-Virtualization, OS-Level Virtualization  and Application level Virtualization

Hypervisor manages the server resources effciently and then the VMs are created on top of HyperVisor. Each VM is assigned its own virtual (Processor, Memory and Storage).

Most Popular Virtualization Platforms

There are commercial and open source virtualization platforms available. Most popular these days are the following;

  • VMWare
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Citrix Xen-Hypervisor
  • OpenVZ
  • ProxMox

Though virtualization on cloud is trendy these days but I will cover only virtualization on premises. I will not waste your time to evaluate all the virtualization software. I have already done that for you.

Commercial Hypervisor

If you have decided to opt commercial Virtualization Software you must go for VMWare. Which is the best virtualization system these days.

Opensource Hypervisor

If you have decided to try opensource then there are three technologies that I have tried which are OpenVZ, KVM,  Xen-Hypervisor and Proxmox.

My selection was ProxMox. I have tested it and it has plenty of features.

Proxmox Virtualization Sever

Proxmox is a comprehensive suit of Virtualization or enterprise. It is easy to manage and through web interface where managing VMs and Containers is simple.

You can download Proxmox OS and can virtualization. I have used version 1.9 and have recently upgraded to 2.0 because there are various new features.

You can download Proxmox from here

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Amjid Ali

I have been Directing and Managing IT since 2000. I am Information Technology Strategist , Business Application Consultant, Business Intelligence and Data Science Specialist with acute knowledge and leadership experience delivering highly valued projects and effective solutions to optimize organizational scalability and performance.

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