Server virtualization is not a new technology, but has made news headlines lately due to its intense use these days and the sophisticated tools available. A server is a computer that hosts files, applications and other computing resources on a computer network. Servers have multiple processors in their central processing units with multitasking abilities. Most applications that run on servers need their own dedicated servers to run effectively. The problems here are that, these servers might use only a small fraction of their processing capabilities and as the network grows, more and more servers are needed, taking more physical space.
Server virtualization provides a solution to the problems associated with servers. A single server can be made to behave like several virtual machines with the help of software. Each virtual server runs independently on its own operating system. Though still a young technology, server virtualization is a hot topic.
Microsoft last month released some tools for users of its Hyper-V virtualization. One of these tools, the Hyper-V Best Practice Analyzer tool is designed to help through the Hyper-V setup while another, the Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 3.0 caters for the various offline virtual computers, virtual hard disks and templates.
Microsoft also released a Linux Integration Service 2.1 solution for Hyper-V and the Microsoft Office 2010 Deployment Kit for App-V.
The tools released by Microsoft are to help users of their Hyper-V virtualization to derive maximum benefits. The Best Practices Analyzer for instance is a server management tool for Windows Server 2008 R2. This tool scans the roles installed on Windows Server 2008 R2 and reports any violations of best practices to the administrator. The scans can be scheduled by the administrator to run automatically, or run them manually when needed.
The Microsoft Virtual Machine offers free services like, analyzed guidance and the automated tools which allow servicing of even the virtual offline machines in the SCVMM library. Now, the system automates the entire servicing of the Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V host clusters and thus powering the live migration. Linux Integration Service allows users to use open source platforms with Hyper-V servers. Operating systems like Open Suse, Ubuntu, Red Hat can now be used with Widows Hyper-V virtual machines. The Microsoft Office 2010 Deployment Kit for App-V helps with sequencing and deployment and connects other system components to instances of Microsoft Office 2010.
Server virtualization tools help deliver better virtualization to firms. Virtualization reduces costs of computing, as firms get only one or two real servers and run virtual machines on them. It also reduces cost of storage for these servers. Servers are ideally stored in cabinets and locked and these cabinets are expensive. Server virtualization helps eliminate these costs. Virtualization can also reduce the physical space needed to store servers, allowing firms with limited office space to also own and host the number of servers they need.
Server Virtualization is now easy to do, with the help of the numerous tools available. Individuals with very little computing knowledge can now manage servers, thanks to server virtualization tools available. Even small scale businesses can take advantage of the benefits of server virtualization since they do not need to spend money to hire well trained personnel.