Virtualization

What is Virtualization and Why Would You Use It?

What is virtualization technology? Virtualization, an increasingly important aspect of HPC architecture, is when you create a software-based representation of something rather than a physical one. Virtualization can apply to applications, servers, storage, and networks and is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility for all size businesses. With virtual memory, for example, computer software gains access to more memory than is physically installed, via the background swapping of data to disk storage. Similarly, techniques can be applied to other IT infrastructure layers – including virtualized networks, storage, laptop or server hardware, operating systems, applications, software stacks (containers), and even entire data centers and hpc clusters. To abstract, centralize, and consolidate physical resources has multiple benefits, such as using it for data center automation. Ask an HPC expert to understand your options, and explore virtualization strategies.

Network Virtualization

Virtualization definition

The act of creating a virtual version of physical computer resources, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and networks.

How Does Virtualization Work?

It is the separation of a resource or request for a service from the underlying physical delivery of that service, using middleware software called a hypervisor. The hypervisor acts as an intermediary between the hardware and the software which emulates it. Contact an engineer at Aspen Systems to find out more about this technology and how it can benefit your organization.

Uses of Virtual Machines

  • Consolidating and centralizing hardware administration
  • Increase resource allocation efficiency
  • Automation of resource allocation based on demand
  • Automation of System Administration tasks
  • Increase security by segmenting resources into policy domains
  • Reduce Capital and Operating expenses
  • Simplify Data Center Management
  • Disaster Recovery

Types of Virtualization

Server Virtualization

Server Virtualization

What is server virtualization? It is the process of replacing physical servers with virtualized servers by installing software called a hypervisor onto the underlying physical hardware, then installing server instances on top of that virtualization layer. It is also called “software defined” servers, or “software defined data centers” in large clusters of hardware in data center virtualization. In this way, you can turn 1 server into multiple servers, each with their own IP address, operating system, server software and entirely unique software stack, all sharing the same hardware resources, managed by centralized server management software.

Network Virtualization

Network Virtualization

Network virtualization means combining hardware and software network resources and functionality into a single, software-based virtual network, usually involving the virtualization of other resource. Externa combines multiple networks or network segments into a single software-defined resource, allowing admins to consolidate multiple smaller networks into a single larger one, or separate a large network. It is also used for software testing to simulate physical networks. Internal provides network functionality to server instances, enabling developers to emulate a connection for testing purposes.

Storage Virtualization

Storage Virtualization

Storage virtualization means presenting a logical view of the physical storage resources to, treating all storage resources as a single pool of storage, or dividing physical storage into multiple drives with different levels of access to different users, and is an important part of any storage management system. This also allows for the effective management of other hardware resources. For instance, a server instance can use a storage instance that is separate from the machine it is running on, allowing for that server instance to seamlessly move from one physical machine to another without downtime.

Desktop Virtualization

Desktop Virtualization

Desktop virtualization separates the desktop environment from the physical device (laptop, workstation, phone) that is used to access it. The components of the desktop (OS, Applications, File system) are virtualized, which allows for a flexible and secure delivery model. This also supports disaster recovery as the environment is backed up in the data center. If the physical device fails, or is lost or stolen, getting back up and running is easy, because all components will be just as the user left it once they log back in. It also increases security, as the actual data is not stored on the device itself.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)

Hyper converged infrastructure is a software-defined infrastructure that virtualizes all of the elements of conventional “hardware-defined” systems. Think of all of the types described above all spun into the same system, controlled by the same Configuration managment software.

Server instance (VM)

Server instance (VM)

Server instance (VM)

Server instance (VM)

Hyper-Converged Server Virtualizaition

Storage Configuration

Network Configuration

Compute Configuration

Virtualization Layer

Physical Storage

Physical Network

Physical Compute

The Software-Defined Data Center

Virtualization has become increasingly common in the data center, and it is even possible to have multiple virtual data centers in the same physical data center. With tools such as VMware, server virtualization, and even data center virtualization is easy to implement. From centralized management software, you can view, modify, clone, remove and perform other IT management tasks without having to physically touch the hardware the server instance is running on. You can move server instances to another physical machine seamlessly, as if you were dragging and dropping a file from one folder to another. You can automate common administrative tasks such as resource allocation.

Many software suites allow for resource allocation of the hardware, to ensure adequate and timely resources are available, and to reduce wasting resources by letting them idle. Fully take advantage of multicore processors by sharing those resources across server instances and allocating CPU cycles to the instances that need it most.

Virtualization-ready (VMware Certified) Servers

Choose from a Wide Range of Virtualization-ready Servers.

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