8135 NE Evergreen Parkway, Suite 1220, Hillsboro, OR 97124

400 S. Akard Dallas, TX 7520

11680 Hayden Rd Manassas, VA 20109

server virtualization

May 29, 2014 | Categories /

Server virtualization is a method by which software is used to partition a single physical server into what appear to be multiple virtual machines. To the user, the virtual environment appears as if it it’s own standalone piece of hardware.

In data centers and IT departments, this technology is used to better utilize server resources. Specific applications may require isolated environments or a different OS in order to function. Instead of having  multiple servers to manage each function, server virutalization allows the creation of separate virtual machines, each capable of running in it’s own unique software environment. Generally, a physical server only uses 20 percent of it’s capacity. By hosting several virtual machines on one physical server it’s possible to improve hardware utilization upwards of 80 percent.

For IT managers and data centers, this also means reducing hardware costs upfront, and reduced TCO in the long term. A smaller, more efficient data center means less costs in heating and cooling, and less equipment to maintain.

With web hosting companies, server virtualization for hosting customers is referred to as virtual private servers (VPS) or virtual dedicated servers (VDS). As more and more enterprise is moving to “the cloud” server virtualization solutions are also commonly referred to as “cloud hosting.” Cloud hosting is beautiful place to host content. It comes in many different technologies forms, colors, and shapes all depending on your needs. Hosting clients receive many of the same benefits as data centers and IT departments, so more and more are making that move to the cloud.

Shared hosting is the most common form of web hosting, where a number of different websites are hosted on one single physical server. With this, the end user has little choice over what software is pre-installed and little control over whatever websites are hosted on the server.

At the other extreme end is dedicated hosting, where a client rents one or more servers for their exclusive use. For a hosting client it allows the most resources and control, but it is a far more expensive option than shared hosting.

A virtual private server can  function as a middleman. It offers the benefits of dedicated hosting without the expense, with some of the limitations of both shared hosting and dedicated hosting.

With VPS, the virtual machine appears for all intents and purposes as a physically separate machine. The user can control the what OS and software the server runs, regardless of what software environment is running on other partitions within the server. Though some basic software runs on the physical server to maintain partitions, firewalls, and other security, the end-user is essentially unaware of anything outside of the virtual machine they are interacting with.

Though the virtual server shares physical space with other virtual machines, server virtualiztion is safer than shared hosting, because it functions as a physically separate computer. With shared hosting there’s the chance that your performance will be adversely affected by other websites on the shared server, or that other users could gain access to your data through security breeches.

VPS is a more expensive hosting option than shared hosting, but it’s often a fraction of the cost of dedicated hosting. It allows for the customization that comes with owning or renting a server, without the cost of maintenance or ownership.

VPS may be a good option for websites of businesses with small to medium levels of traffic. While shared hosting may be cheaper, for some applications businesses need a greater level of control. For websites with a lot of traffic, however, going with a dedicated server may be the only option for meeting a website or applications needs for computing power and bandwidth.


Got ideas, questions, or feedback you’d like to send?
Email: OpusBlog@opusinteractive.com

Related Post