Traditionally, operating systems and software run on a physical computer. Several challenges exist to running a large number of physical servers in a datacenter. The model is not flexible and can be inefficient. The planning and cost of proper infrastructure (square footage, rack space, power,cooling, cabling, and server provisioning) are but a few of the problems that IT staff must address.
Typically, a 1:1 relationship exists between a physical computer and the software that it runs. This relationship leaves most computers vastly underused, leaving between only 5–10 percent of physical server capacity in use. The cost of the space and power required to house, run and keep these systems cool can be expensive.

Provisioning physical servers is a time consuming process. In nonvirtualized environments time must be allotted to procure new hardware, place it in the datacenter, install an operating system, patch the operating system and install and configure the required applications can take weeks. This process also includes a myriad of other tasks to integrate the system into the infrastructure.

For example, configuring firewall rules, enabling switch ports and provisioning storage. Virtualization enables you to run more workloads on a single server by consolidating the environment so that your applications run on virtual machines. Converting to a virtualized datacenter reduces the required datacenter square footage, rack space, power, cooling, cabling, storage and network components by reducing the sheer number of physical machines.
The reduction of physical machines can be realized by converting physical machines to virtual machines and consolidating the converted machines onto a single host.

Using virtualization technology also changes the way servers are provisioned. You do not need towait for the hardware to be procured or cabling to be installed. Virtual machine provisioning is performed using an intuitive graphical user interface. In contrast to the long process of deploying physical servers, deploying virtual machines can be deployed in a matter of minutes.

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Written by Sujith Surendran

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