Server virtualization is a process of dividing a physical server into several single, isolated virtual servers using software. 

Thus, each virtual server can run its own operating systems independently.

Follow this article until the end and find out everything about the topic: what it is, how it works, what are its advantages and what are the types of server virtualization. Check out!

Read too:

What is Cloud Computing: discover how it works and its advantages

What is server virtualization?

By using software specially designed for virtualization, an administrator can convert a physical server into multiple virtual machines . From there, each virtual server – in the cloud – acts as a single physical device , capable of running its own operating system.

We can also define server virtualization as a way to integrate and run services, software and operating systems in a single online space : the cloud.

That is, Cloud Computing is nothing more than using several virtual servers in the formation of distributed networks of services. Today it is almost impossible to carry out any action on the Internet without these virtualized servers , which synchronize information from various devices.

For end users, virtualized software works exactly like native software installed on a physical machine. However, in this case, access is made through a browser or through a plugin, depending on the technology adopted.

How does it work in practice?

Typically, corporate data centers consist of a cluster of many servers, with no clear and precise integration between them.

In most cases they are idle, as the client, when contracting the server, thinks about supporting a sudden increase in accesses. But what usually happens is this: you demand a workload well below the contracted one.

This results in wasted resources such as hardware, energy, maintenance and cooling requirements . In this case, the best alternative is server virtualization . This is a way of dividing the resources of a physical server into several virtual partitions.

Here we will describe the 4 working parts of virtualization:

  • Physical server : is a physical machine composed of CPU, memory, disks, network connections and SAN connections;
  • Hypervisor : software called Hypervisor is installed on the server, capable of dividing the hardware into small parts, functioning as a bridge between the physical server and the virtual machines. The Hypervisor has the role of intermediating the installation of operating systems and subdividing the system into parts that can be configured independently;
  • Virtual machines : each of these divided parts is like a “slice” of hardware. These parts are stored in files within the Hypervisor operating system;
  • Hypervisor installation on virtual machines : a different operating system can be installed on each machine, as needed.

In server virtualization there is greater efficiency in the use of resources if everything is adjusted correctly. After all, such work can be adjusted according to the desired requirements . User can modify RAM memory, disk space and also other features.

All of this requires far less hardware compared to the equivalent number of physical machines that organizations required years ago.

Read too:

Local server: is it worth your company to have one?

Types of Server Virtualization

When we analyze this process and its possibilities, it is important to highlight that there are 3 types of server virtualization :

1. Full virtualization

Full virtualization is what we've seen so far. It uses a Hypervisor, which monitors the physical server's resources and keeps each virtual server independent and unaware of the others.

2. Paravirtualization

Unlike full virtualization, Paravirtualization involves the entire network working together as a cohesive unit.

Since each operating system on the virtual servers is aware of each other in this model, the Hypervisor does not need to rely on as much processing power to manage the operating systems.

3. Operating system-level virtualization

Unlike Full and Paravirtualization, OS-level virtualization does not use a Hypervisor. Instead, the virtualization feature, which is part of the physical server's operating system, performs all the tasks.

However, all virtual servers must run the same operating system in this method of server virtualization.

10 advantages of server virtualization

Greater workload mobility, higher performance and resource availability, automated operations, simpler IT to manage and operate. These are some of the benefits of virtualization that make the process so important today .

In the end, the ultimate goal is to manage and allocate resources efficiently. This must be done in a way that does not affect your security , governance and compliance

Now let's get to know the details of the top 10 list of advantages that make this process so relevant for companies.

1. More secure systems

Virtual machines work independently, isolated from each other, including the local host (host). That's why there are different types of security and operating systems for each service individually.

2. Reduced costs

Anyone who thinks that in order to work with virtualization and with more modern systems you need to spend absurd amounts, is mistaken. Very little is spent on hardware, computers and other devices.

3. Energy saving

With virtualized systems, you can also save a lot on electricity. This happens because of the reduced use of hardware: fewer machines connected, less electricity consumed .

4. Saving physical space

With fewer machines and devices, there is a considerable reduction in the use of physical space in companies. In addition, it is no longer necessary to have rooms with a specific temperature, which represents another type of economy.

5. Less idle or inactive hardware

There are no idle hardware with virtualization. Resources are allocated more efficiently among virtual machines.

Following this process, along with a solid backup and recovery , will ensure that you keep your data integrity solid and any downtime to a minimum.

6. Test environment

Before implementing an application, it is possible to test it in the software's virtual environment, greatly reducing the risk of errors in procedures of this type. Having these environments is essential nowadays, ensuring an even greater level of security with applications.

Also, it is easier to test the new system and software using virtualization as it does not require any additional hardware and testing can be done quickly.

7. Ease of migration of environments

With server virtualization, you can avoid all the work of reinstalling and configuring systems.

It provides flexibility to the user so that he can modify everything as per the required migrations. Modification can be done in minutes and can be easily adjusted when the workload changes.

8. Data security

All data referring to intellectual property is safe within the company's database. Since it is stored in many different locations, if disaster strikes, the data can be recovered easily .

Want to know more about data security? Take the opportunity to listen to episode #5 of Sky.Cast! In this episode we chat about cybersecurity and LGPD! Listen now!

Data security and GDPR

9. Simplified Server Deployment

It is very simple to work with the deployment of virtual machines. There is no need to acquire new hardware, considering that what is being implemented is a virtual server. There is also no need to adapt the environments to receive electricity or to have more space for the database.

This becomes an important benefit for IT teams as well, who no longer need to replace hardware and eliminate malware from machines.

Using virtualization allows your team to simply deploy a new feature without having to struggle with repairs and rollbacks , which can waste valuable time. Now they can spend time on more business-critical projects.

10. Multiple Operating Systems on a single platform

With virtualization, multiple operating systems can work together on a single server.

And going through all these advantages, we can highlight that, when opting for virtualization, security, cost savings and physical space savings are what can really make the difference in a company.

How much does server virtualization cost?

As we have seen, reduced cost is among the main advantages of performing server virtualization. This reduction can reach up to 40% of the traditional operational cost with the data center model .

But speaking of concrete values, how much does virtualization cost? There are 2 ways to go here:

Costs with a Private Cloud

To set up a private structure that allows virtualization, even if it is more affordable than the traditional model, requires the acquisition of some elements for its operation.

In addition to equipment such as the server itself, switch and storage, it is necessary to purchase the hypervisor and also install the operating system on the server. This whole package still needs to have a device management solution.

This structure will already cost between R$ 30 and R$ 40 thousand to implement, in addition to fixed costs of approximately R$ 10 thousand.

Cloud service provider costs

This is the most economical model , as payment is made according to workloads , that is, based on consumption or even on a fixed monthly basis for the cloud service.

This is the benefit of having solutions based on AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google Cloud or Oracle Cloud , for example. Here the cost is measured per hour or per number of users. In general, this investment can vary, starting from R$ 500 or R$ 1000 for companies with fewer users.

When migrating to the cloud with Auto.Sky , a Sky.One , you leave all the complexity of the cloud with us and guarantee your connection through a platform available via the web, allowing users to access the system wherever they are.

Learn more about how Auto.Sky can modernize your business by moving your desktop software to SaaS quickly and securely : 

Auto.Sky : migrating your software to the cloud with Sky.One

So, were you interested in starting to work with this process? If you want to check out more practical tips and start implementing software virtualization now, start your Journey to the Cloud now !

Tips for software developers

Written by

Sky.One Team

This content was produced by SkyOne's team of cloud and digital transformation experts.