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Server Virtualization

Regardless of the variety and complexity of a company's IT system, virtualization delivers a full range of benefits. The most obvious one is the system consolidation process as well as controlled growth of the number of servers in the IT system.

Virtualization is a consolidation of the operating systems deployed on a number of physical servers into one physical server.

Consolidation of the system will result in significant financial benefits. Today's x86-based systems in many cases have an average percentage of utilization of available resources (CPU, RAM and data storage system) at 10-15% level, which plainly shows how current resources owned by the user are underutilized. In addition, the usual server system concept is: one server – one application. In practice, this means that the company will own at least as many servers as the number of different applications used. By server consolidation, significant progress will be achieved in this part of the system. Quality consolidation will increase utilization of available resources by 50-85%. Transposed to real systems, virtualization will reduce the number of required servers in the system by at least 3 to 5 times.

In practice, even substantially larger savings in server resources are achieved. Some users have achieved physical to virtual server consolidation ratios of 1:10 to 1:20! Therefore, the significantly lower cost in purchase of server infrastructure is obvious.

In addition, there are some less obvious benefits brought about by virtualized systems:

  • Running different operating systems (Windows, Linux…) on the same virtualization server,
  • Reduced consumption of electricity (smaller number of servers reduces power consumption needs),
  • Air conditioners operating at reduced capacity due to the smaller number of heat-generating servers,
  • Less related peripherals (screens and the like) and UPS units,
  • Reduced complexity and size of network infrastructure due to the smaller number of required network ports used by the servers to connect to the rest of the system,
  • Reduced hardware maintenance costs due to the smaller number of critical components that are susceptible to faults (disks, power supply units etc.),
  • Reduced system administration costs due to the smaller number of system administrators, or vice versa – increased productivity of system administrators in production environments, who will cover up to 5 times more active virtual servers as compared to physical ones.

System virtualization will enable greater freedom in the selection of the system's hardware base.

In terms of their architecture, virtual machines are completely independent of the hardware on which they run, and will not be impacted by changes of key hardware components of the physical machine. The user now has the possibility of optimal usage of available hardware. In practice, this means that in the case of a possible failure of the physical server driving the virtual machines, such virtual machines will be easily transferred to another physical machine and will continue to operate with a minimum of service unavailability caused. This will substantially reduce the total recovery and overall system availability time.

References (in alphabetical order)

  • CAIB Invest d.o.o.
  • Combis d.o.o.
  • Croatian Energy Market Operator
  • Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency
  • Croatian State Archives
  • Euroherc osiguranje d.d.
  • Generali osiguranje d.d.
  • Hrvatski Telekom d.d.
  • Labud d.d.
  • Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Croatia
  • Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia – Customs Administration
  • Novi list d.d.
  • Slatinska banka d.d.
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