Virtualization Primer

The idea of virtualization is simple, and although the underlying technology is somewhat complicated, implementing virtualization with DataHive's VMWare offering is very simple.

Virtualization is the use of software to allow a server to run multiple operating systems at the same time. The technology got its start on mainframes decades ago, allowing administrators to avoid wasting expensive processing power. Processing power these days is very inexpensive, but the fact remains that the large percentage of servers are being under-utilized. Virtualization allows you to fully utilize the processing power of a server. This means you have less capital outlay for hardware. It’s also a "green" initiative in that fewer physical servers being plugged in means less electricity is being used.

Don't let the word "virtualization" confuse you. It’s a simple concept. Think of a traditional server as a house; it’s a single family (single OS) environment. Virtualization would be more like an apartment building; that is, a single physical structure that hosts multiple distinct and unique residences.

For virtualization to be implemented, there needs to be a host server, which is a traditional physical machine. It will run a host operating system like Linux or Windows, and it will also be running the virtualization software.

In the the graphic below, you can see how this concept is applied. The host machine provides hard drives, RAM (memory), CPU, etc. The virtualization software assigns a share of those resources to each virtual server. It also allows for the operating system of your choice to run "within your apartment."

You provide the software/application you'd like to run. You can also provide the operating system, or we can provide it for you. We provide the host server and the virtualization software. Increasing the amount of physical resources is now simply a matter of clicking a few buttons. No need to open the server up to replace a hard drive or plug in more RAM/memory. Just tell the virtualization software that "server A needs more RAM" and that's it.

Depending on the specs of the host server, you could put 10 or more virtual servers on it, reducing your requirement from 10 physical servers (and the associated costs) down to a single host server. Virtualization is a great option for many businesses, large and small. It’s cost-effective, reliable and extremely flexible.

Ask us about our VMWare cluster. It may be the right answer for you.

Why Virtualize?

Virtualization is becoming increasingly interesting as a way to reduce co-location costs while at the same time keeping up with the ever growing maintenance demands of diverse operating systems and applications. Utilizing a single physical machine to run multiple virtual machines reduces space requirements while lowering power and cooling demands.

  • server space consolidation
  • simplify resources
  • greater flexibility
  • ease of provisioning
  • reduce power and cooling requirements
  • portability
  • systems backup


DataHive offers the full services of VMware including certified technical expertise.

Read about Lowered Costs, Increased Productivity and the Benefits of Virtualization.