Server Virtualization

storage device and be activated when it needs to take over for a production server that is experiencing some sort of problem. You can use replication to keep updated copies of a virtual machine at an off-site disaster recovery site for additional protection.

▲ Safe testing environment. Software testing is simplified by the ease of creating a virtual machine for testing new software. A standard system image can be created that can be quickly set up with the new software installed. As a result, testing can be done without impacting other systems.

While there are a number of good reasons to virtualize your servers, server virtualization is not for everyone. Some issues with virtualization include:

▲ Server sprawl. The biggest issue for most organizations is avoiding "server sprawl," in which the number of virtual servers grows to an unmanageable level.

▲ Licensing issues. You must also plan ahead for potential licensing issues with some operating systems and applications.

▲ Increased complexity. While virtualizing servers can simplify some aspects of your IT operation, it does add a layer of complexity to your environment that will have to be managed.

▲ Hardware compatibility issues. Some specialized programs that work with dedicated hardware, such as point-of-sale (POS) systems, may not work well on virtual machines.

▲ Single point of failure. And last, but not least, having several virtual servers on a single host machine means that if the hardware fails, all servers on that machine will fail. What was before maybe a single department screaming when the machine running its critical application went down, now becomes a chorus of angry users when multiple virtual servers all die at once when the physical server fails. You may need to have a second physical server available in case of hardware failure.

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