Virtualization is continuing to make inroads into the data center. Despite concerns around management and security, the savings from consolidating many servers or clients into a single piece of hardware are too compelling to resist.
Vendors have made huge advances in ease of use and efficiencies of scale, such as thin provisioning of CPU, memory, storage, and input/output (I/O) resources. Other vendors such as RingCube, Moka, Spoon, and AccelOps add functionality to VMware and other virtualization platforms, making it easier to provide users with the experience they want while retaining control and saving on hardware costs.
The options for using virtualization are many and varied. Solutions include free and open-source solutions such as Xen and KVM, as well as free versions of production software from virtualization vendors such as VMware and Citrix. There's also virtualization software included with an OS, such as KVM with Red Hat Linux or Hyper-V with Windows Server 2008. In addition, VMWare, Citrix, and others profide full-production hypervisors. Tools are also available to migrate operating systems from physical servers to virtual ones--or from one hypervisor to another. It’s possible to try virtualization with a free product, and then move to a supported product if the pilot program works out well.
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