We appreciate your thirst to know what is server virtualization. And it’s fantastic to share something as it sharpens the brain! Server Virtualization is a vital thing to manage servers. Whether you are a small or vast business, you cannot but recognize its benefits and necessity when you know about it thoroughly.
Then how about we rush toward details?
Today we will provide you with an all-inclusive notion. In the end, you learn about it from different points of view. Are you ready to jump?
What Is Server Virtualization
Here you will be talking about server virtualization end-to-end. That means apart from the definition; we will cover its types, importance, working process, and so on! Okay, now let’s jump downright!
Server virtualization is the method to divide a physical server into multiple unique and isolated virtual servers. This division of virtual servers gets done with the help of a software application. As a result, each of the servers becomes independent and can run its own operating systems. It works to veil server resources from server users. This process consists of the number and identity of operating systems, processors, individual physical servers, etc.
To make it simple, it is a virtualization technique that includes partitioning a physical server into a number of small, virtual servers through virtualization software.
Servers computers are powerful enough to host files and applications on computer networks. The central processing units (CPUs) with multiple processors enable these servers to do complicated tasks easily. Here you will see a separate application for each server. Therefore each of the tasks gets done soundly without making any mess with others. It simultaneously helps to trace problems. This is an excellent way of designing a computer network from a technical standpoint. This technology processes requests and delivers data to other computers in a Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN).
Types of Server Virtualization
In server virtualization, operating systems are called Guest Operating Systems. These run on another operating system known as Host Operating System. No Guest Operating System is aware of any other guests running on the same host. This transparency is ensured through different virtualization methods. Let’s see what they are!
This is a layer known as Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM). It exists between the operating system and hardware and ensures the necessary services and features so that multiple operating systems can run smoothly. Specifically, it –
- Identifies traps
- Responds to privileged CPU instruction
- Handles queuing, dispatching, and returning the hardware requests
- Administers and manages the virtual machines by a host operating system
Para Virtualization is the guest operating system that gets modified and recompiled prior to installation into the virtual machine. This virtualization has its root in the hypervisor. It handles much of the emulation and trapping overhead in software implemented virtualization. And this modification enables the guest operating system to communicate directly with the hypervisor, removing emulation overhead. So you can enjoy better performance. However, one can consider this modification as a limitation of this technique.
To a large extent, Full Virtualization is similar to Para Virtualization. This sort of virtualization can emulate the underlying hardware in need. How does it work? Well, in order to perform I/O or modify the system status, the hypervisor traps the machine operations used by the operating system. Then these machine operations get emulated in software. And you will find the returned status codes superbly consistent with the actual hardware delivery! Despite being a bit complex and slower because of emulation, this method is free from modification for the guest operating system.
It is the application to supports the software that creates and manages virtual machines (VMs). The only exception is the reliance on hardware. Otherwise, you will see it quite similar to Full Virtualisation and Para Virtualization. This platform virtualization approach enables efficient full virtualization. It takes assistance from hardware capabilities, mainly from the host processors.
Kernel Level Virtualization
This is a specialized form of server virtualization. Here an operating system (OS) named kernel is adapted to support different users running applications simultaneously on a single machine. The Kernel is the provider of essential services for all other parts of the operating system. It doesn’t use a hypervisor. Instead, it runs a different Linux kernel version and treats the associated virtual machine as a user-space process on the physical host. It requires slightly modified QEMU process and execution containers for the virtual machines.
System Level Virtualization
It is also known as OS Virtualization. It runs multiple yet logically distinct environments on a single instance of the operating system kernel. Experts regard this as a shared kernel approach. Why? The reason is, here all virtual machines share a common Kernel of the host operating system. And this system develops based on a change root concept, “chroot”. True, there is a risk of trouble with all virtual servers due to a driver or Kernel problem, but you will see it as significantly more lightweight than complete machines. Apart from this, it has enhanced protection and isolation.
Server Virtualization Benefits
Server virtualization is indeed a “game-changer” for the administrators and managers of a data center. Here we will be discussing the most crucial benefits. You will find an easier way to boost your business when you are aware of the top 10 benefits of server virtualization. Here they are!
Don’t you want significant savings in power? Don’t you expect the reduction of a data center footprint? Be sure that server virtualization provides you with these tremendous advantages! It helps you reduce the use of energy as well as cooling cost. At the same time, you can easily minimize the costs of –
- Diesel generator
- Network switch
- Rack space and
- floor space
Everyone and every business want its device to be faster. That means an enhanced uptime is always desirable. Only server virtualization can provide you with some tremendous features such as –
- storage vMotion (svMotion)
- VMware high availability (VMHA)
Server virtualization means steeping forward to the ever-elusive single pane of glass management. You can comfortably monitor and adjust the status of all virtual servers according to your need. This platform consists of centralized management applications. And since you become free from having multiple point management tools, you can save your time and money.
Simplified Disaster Recovery
Server virtualization is highly favorable for its convenience. It helps you recover from any disaster simply. How? See, you can easily move a virtual machine from one server to another. And no worries about the data backup. The system does it faster. You can smoothly duplicate the virtual server you are currently using.
Goodbye to Server Sprawl
Physical servers are beset with server sprawl issues. However, when you employ virtual servers, you don’t need to over-allocate server resources anymore. You will have multiple virtual servers within a single server and can precisely size every virtual machine you want!
You can clone a virtual machine within minutes without expending a single penny! Unlike going through an arduous and expensive process for a physical server, you can quickly ensure the total deployment of logistics. You don’t need to invest time in receiving hardware, installing an operating system, or applications here in this process.
Can you imagine the benefit of having fewer servers in your data center? You can do more with less with the assistance of this technology. It will make your admins, and IT sections more capable of solving issues confidently. They will be able to maintain and manage things promptly and focus on the other kinds of stuff.
For a physical server system, you are bound to give the amount of space that every server needs. You are limited there. On the contrary, virtualization technology is entirely free from this limitation. Whatever the capacity of your data center, you merely need virtual space to expand the virtual environments.
This platform allows you to create a virtual lab. You are making a group of virtual machines on a private virtual network. Therefore you can test vSphere, Exchange, Active Directory, and so on!
Easy Conversion to the Cloud
Since server virtualization lets you enjoy portability, you can nicely turn your virtualized servers into a cloud hosting company. You merely have to let them mature, which is one of the top benefits..
Server Virtualization Disadvantages
Having a server with virtualization has some drawbacks too. When you know both the pros and cons of something, you can decide better. Agree? Here we go for the disadvantages below!
High Initial Investment
It’s true that you need a minimum operational cost. However, the high initial investment is one of the substantial demerits of server virtualization. As a small company, you will need years to be confident about such an endeavor.
A quick scaling on virtualization is challenging. Chances are very high that you cannot accomplish it within a short time. Tasks like ensuring enough storage, all necessary software, security, and resource availability can be boring stuff for you.
Magnified Physical Failures
All the virtualized servers depend on a physical host server. And people usually manage more than one physical host server to minimize the compensation for a physical failure. It makes you invest more in redundant hardware.
Complex Root Cause Analysis
Virtualizing begets significant changes to the whole system and results in some problems. However, the most critical problem is to discover the root cause of a problem. Often it demands extra effort even if you have highly skilled staff.
Vulnerability of Data
Working in a virtualized environment is risky because your data is hosted on a third-party resource. There can be unwanted attacks or unauthorized access. So it compels you to be extra cautious with your virtual instance and data.
To Sum Up
Now you thoroughly know what is server virtualization. Virtualization may seem young to you. However, it is a harvest of a years-long effort by computer scientists. In recent years, it has been convenient for servers. Yes, despite having some disadvantages, it benefits admins or users to a large extent. As an organization, you can undoubtedly take your business to the next level with your virtualization.