Server Virtualization: Its Challenges and Benefits

Server Virtualization

The adoption of server virtualization is becoming a very common trend in the industry to improve efficiency and availability of IT resources. The trend of having one server/one application is going away, making way for the adoption of virtualization technique that runs multiple operating systems/applications on a single hardware. With this technology in place, costs can be reduced 50 – 70% with respect to hardware and IT administration.

Benefits of virtualization include:

  1. Multiple operating systems/applications on a single system
  2. Improved utilization of power and hardware while reducing server administration costs
  3. Higher availability and improved performance of enterprise applications
  4. Business continuity through improved disaster recovery and higher availability in the data centre
  5. Improved enterprise desktop management and control

The virtualization market includes server virtualization infrastructure, hosted virtual desktops and server virtualization management. VMware, Microsoft and Citrix are the leading providers in server the virtualization infrastructure market. The server virtualization management market is currently wide open with more than 100 vendors supplying products that meet some of the requirements in the management stack. The big four management software vendors are BMC Software, CA, HP and IBM/Tivoli.  On the other hand, the hosted virtual desktop market is quite crowded and full of opportunities. For example, virtualization technology plays a fundamental role in enabling cloud computing – the latest industry buzzword. VMware’s latest release of server virtualization ESX4.0 is specifically designed for better cloud computing.

The biggest challenge with virtualization software is that it must be very robust, efficient and compatible with all underlying hardware like CPU, Memory, Network, IO etc and different Operating Systems above it, without compromising on performance and computations. This requires significant investment in time and resources to provide a fully tested solution to customers. Software services companies have great opportunity to pitch-in and leverage on these areas, collaborate with virtualization development efforts together and deliver high quality products ready for virtualization across various platforms, operating systems and applications. In the upcoming weeks, I will discuss how IT companies can help customers implement and support the virtualization technology.

Symphony Services is a leading global specialist providing software product engineering outsourcing services. The company’s focus on Engineering Outcome Certainty™ drives R&D results that shorten time-to-market for new products and delivers greater innovation to compete in a global marketplace. Independent software vendors (ISVs), software enabled businesses and companies whose products contain embedded software partner with Symphony Services to achieve their business goals.

By Anup Pal, Vice President, Global Solutions and Support, Symphony Services

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