Friday, April 20, 2007

Ten servers for the price of one... almost.

Server Virtualization is here to stay. VMWare is a great application. Now that we have dual core and quad core servers, is like having multiple CPU's in a single chassis. Well, Server Virtualization means literary that: having multiple servers (each one with its own OS) in a single chassis.

Corporations are enjoying the benefits of managing a single hardware, while dealing with as many as ten virtual servers on that hardware: better Return on Investment, lower Total Cost of Ownership, simpler administration and easier upgradeability are just a handful of those benefits. The value proposition that VMWare brings is tremendous.

Any drawbacks? - a perceived one is the limited bandwidth that those servers will "share". People think that a server typically has one GigabitEthernet interface (i.e. 1 Gbps), therefore when virtualizing it into 10 servers, each virtual server will have to share the one Gigabit connection. Well, that is true; though the beauty is in that you can have multiple GigabitEthernet interface in a platform. As many as you want. Therefore you can link ten 1Gbps interface, and aggregate all the bandwidth.

Another great component of virtualization kicks in: blade switches. This is a switch for your specific server at the data center to avoid installing several GigabitEthernet interfaces. The switch goes straight into the blade server where the virtualization will take place; not connected to the server, but rather connecting the server to the network.

Major benefits? - provide an integrated switching solution which dramatically reduces cable complexity and offer consistent network services like high availability, quality of service and security. All directly to the blade.
As you can probably see, Virtualization can be complex in itself.... though expect to see a lot more of that in the nearby future. We'll probably have virtual desktops at home soon!

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