Nowadays, the best way of improving computing environments regardless of their size is by using an amazing technology also known as virtualization. Only one physical server is enough to reduce operational costs, as it has the ability to run several virtual servers. Server virtualization can bring a wide range of benefits to your company, whether it’s a 2000-server shop or a 2-server one. Besides, you will definitely love the easiness of this technology, as well as its cheap costs.

A virtual server helps businesses save money

The tendency to virtualize even the smallest infrastructure was triggered by the need of reducing costs and of easing the administration. If you’re wondering how the technology can help you reduce costs, the answer is simple. When you virtualize your company, you basically cut down many of its physical servers, thus reducing cooling and power requirements. A new business application can be supported very easy nowadays, since all you have to do is use an additional virtual server instead of purchasing new hardware.

If your business is provided with only one server, you won’t feel a big difference when you decide to virtualize. Virtualization mainly benefits the companies that own at least two servers, and can be a good choice in case you want to expand it in the near future. All servers available today are multicore, but their power is too big for the requirements of many small-business servers. As a result, business owners often end up paying impressive amounts of money for servers that don’t do many things except generate heat and consume power.

The Host Server


If your business environment is not very large, you can successfully virtualize your servers by purchasing a so-called physical host server, which will be in charge or running various virtual servers. Although this server carries such a big responsibility, it doesn’t consume very many CPU resources, so you shouldn’t worry from this point of view.

The most common virtualization software programs that can be used are Microsoft’s Hyper-V, VMware and Citrix XenServer, all of them working on a six- or four-core CPU. These requirements happen because most servers run idle most of the time, and when they’re assigned to do something, their resources spread among the CPU, RAM, network input/output and disk, even though only a few virtual servers actually need significant CPU resources.

Servers such as database servers have to deal with heavier amounts of information, meaning that they may not be the perfect candidates for virtualization, especially if your infrastructure is small. Everything depends on whether there are enough available hardware resources to the physical host server, as well as on the virtual server’s requirements and on the features included in the virtualization software. Fortunately, these requirements can be set up and tested very easily.

RAM and Storage

RAM is very important when it comes to virtualization. Therefore, you are advised to provide your virtualization host machine with as much RAM as possible. The more RAM you can use, the greater the number of virtual machines you can run.

Storage should also be taken into account, as smaller environments are not always provided with devices that hold the images produced by virtual servers. If this is the case, you are advised to use as more disk as possible. Some other aspects that should be taken into account when you want to virtualize your server are related to network interfaces and power supplies. 

Virtualization Software


This is perhaps one of the aspects that provide the largest number of choices. For example, VMware has created a free product in the company’s VMware Server, which can be run on both Linux and Windows. The best thing about this software is that it’s very easy to install and use, giving you the freedom to choose between its Linux version and Windows.

Microsoft’s Hyper-V is also a good virtualization alternative, and can work perfectly on networks that work with Windows. Windows Server 2008 R2 allows you to run four different virtual servers that run on the same copy of Windows, without having to pay for more licenses. This is a great choice if you’re interested in saving some money.

Apart from these two virtualization options, there are others you can take into consideration. For example, Citrix’s XenServer comes with a wide range of interesting features such as multiserver management. Although XenServer is not considered very mainstream, you can still think of it as of a viable option, especially since it can be downloaded for free, without requiring an OS license.