Data center virtualization is a method of moving information storage from physical servers to virtual ones, often in a different location. In the past, large companies would keep physical servers on site that held huge amounts of corporate information. These servers were expensive, both to purchase and maintain. With data center virtualization, it became possible to separate both the hardware and location from the data. This cuts costs and increases the data’s availability.
Data center virtualization actually comes from a combination of two different technologies; high-speed data transfer and server virtualization. Without both of these components, data center virtualization becomes highly impractical. While high-speed data transfer has been around for a long time, server virtualization didn’t become practical until the beginning of the 21st century.
High-speed data transfer allows for the separation of information from location. With traditional data centers, information was stored on site, so it was always accessible to workers. As the Internet increased in speed, it became possible to retrieve information from distant locations nearly as quickly as from a home server. With this type of speed on hand, it is possible to keep your data center nearly anywhere there is a good Internet connection.
Server virtualization centers on using software to do the job of hardware. A single computer running a single server will always have periods where it is sitting idle or doing very little. By running server virtualization software on that single machine, it can act as if it is two or more completely independent servers. Now when one server is idle, the other ones can still be working. This cuts down inefficiency and reduces the number of machines necessary to do tasks.
The business applications for data center virtualizations are numerous. Data can exist in multiple locations at the same time. When changes are made to a database, the change can migrate through a series of virtual servers until all have the new data. Instead of databases being offline when the server needs a repair, the company can simply access an off-site location. If one of the off-site locations becomes inaccessible, there are other servers available with the same information.
Data center virtualization costs less than traditional data storage as well. On the local front, the company has fewer servers to maintain, cutting hardware and staff costs. The off-site location has a series of virtual servers. These machines are doing the work of many physical servers, which cuts their cost as well.