Virtualization is a technology that is redefining how physical servers are used and enabling better optimization of limited resources. Many servers today are vastly underutilized as they are designed to run single applications. Some estimates say servers typically operate between 15% to 25% of CPU capacity.
With virtualization this can be improved dramatically. Virtualization lets you run multiple Virtual Machines on a single physical machine. Each Virtual Machine (VM) has its own root access and run its own operating system. While resources such as CPU and RAM are shared, each VM has a dedicated slice of these resources which can be increased or decreased instantly based on demand.
Some examples of virtualization technology are Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi and Parallels Virtuozzo.
While many service providers are only now extolling the benefits of virtualization, Signetique has been an early adopter of this technology.
Several under-utilized servers can be consolidated into one physical machine by creating multiple virtual machines on the same hardware. This improves hardware optimization and greatly reduces costs. When the IT department receives a request for a server to run a new application, the IT manager simply create a virtual machine on the virtualized server and provision it within minutes. There is no longer a need to purchase a new server just because a department needs to run or test an application.
Run legacy systems
A legacy application might not run on newer hardware operating systems. Even if it does, if may under-utilize the server. With virtualization however, a VM with minimum resource allocation can easily be setup to run the legacy application.
Easily move virtual machines between physical servers. Most virtualization software comes with some form of migration tool that promises 'live migration' with little or no downtime. This greatly increases system uptime when there is a need for maintenance or migration.
On-demand provisioning of servers
Virtual Machines are easy to provision and are great for research and experiments. Instead of giving developers access to a server already running other applications, a VM can easily be cloned and provisioned within minutes, even on a live production server!
Some of the more popular virtualization technology that we currently support: