Virtualisation -what’s it all about?

‘Virtualisation’ is very much the word of the moment; however it is often used to refer to a wide variety of technologies. To many it simply means VMware, however a number of key software and hardware vendors are now focussing on this strategically important area of IT. On offer are products providing platform, server, application, desktop and network virtualisation.

Joining the major players in the virtualisation arena are a number of new, smaller organisations providing complimentary solutions that seek to address the shortfalls of the key products.

At Eolas technologies we have unpicked ‘virtualisation’, and below we try to present a clear overview of the variety of technologies that have gathered under the virtualisation banner. We can help in any of the areas below and also in incorporating virtualisation into the cloud, regardless of the stage you’re at.

key areas of virtualisation

In broad terms, virtualisation represents the abstraction of a technology into some form of centralised, controlled environment. This is accomplished in a number of ways, depending upon the technology being virtualised.

server virtualisation

Server virtualisation is the process of encapsulating one or more complete server operating systems, and their applications, within a virtualised environment on a host server. These virtual servers are separated from the physical hardware on which they live by a virtualisation layer (sometimes referred to as the Hypervisor). This has a number of benefits in that it:

  • Protects the host server from virtual server crashes and misbehaving or malicious applications.
  • Allows the host server to schedule and allocate resources such as CPU cycles, memory and disk space between the virtual servers.
  • Introduces the possibility of migrating a complete virtual server between physical hosts.

The key business needs addressed by server virtualisation centre around issues of total cost of ownership and high availability. IT managers are being placed under increasing pressure to introduce efficiencies into both their own departments, and to the wider organisation. Server virtualisation can deliver greater efficiencies from server hardware, and can provide the foundation on which to build a highly fault tolerant server environment.


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