Virtualization of Servers - What it Is All About

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It will also create a bridge between the new server (and the virtualized servers (your three older servers). Images of the three servers that are still in use will be backed up and mounted on the Citrix XenServer host (new) as a virtual machine (VM).

What exactly is virtualization? Do you feel like you are being left out of the conversation about virtualization in company meetings?

Virtualization refers to an operating system, such as Windows XP, that runs on a host computer as a virtual machine (VM). Virtual Box, a program that allows users to install Windows XP and boot it up on a host computer with Windows 7, is an example.

Let's take an from the real world: Three servers are located in your office. One server is the one that hosts company email. It has been in use for more than 8 years. Your company has grown substantially since installing the server. There are now 150 employees and your email server is tired and outdated. Also, there are complaints from the office about slow email speeds and downtime. Your active directory, DNS and file share files are all hosted on the second server. The server is starting to slow down due to age and new employees. You are experiencing disk space issues. Let's say that the third server is an old Red Hat Linux server and hosts an accounting program proprietary to company. This software interfaces to the second server, pulls data from one of the shares, generates reports, and so on. The server hosts a website which links to your inventory database so that online customers can order from it. This connection also provides a portal that allows your sales team access to order statuses, shipping times, and prices.

As the older servers age, it becomes harder to find parts, drives fail more frequently, and downtime is becoming more frequent in the You can replace all the servers. However, this will require you to purchase three new servers as well as replacement licenses and installation costs. This will cause weeks of downtime that will be costly and disruptive to your business. Virtualization is much cheaper and will cause minimal downtime. Virtualization will require either a new multi-processor server or a multicore CPU loaded up with memory. There will be no downtime for this project.

Managers or IT administrators can monitor the three virtual servers and the physical one by installing a "management console" on their This can be used to view the desktop and reboot individual servers, as well as add resources like printers or USB drives.

Citrix XenServer has many other features, including automatic failover. Let's suppose you have completed the server installation and everything is working perfectly. Your concern is that your company could experience significant downtime if your server goes down. This assumes you have a reliable backup system. Or become unavailable for maintenance, upgrades, or other reasons. A second server can be added along with a shared storage solution, such as a DataCore SAN or Dell EqualLogic SAN. Both servers will have access to the shared storage solution. Your second server can be used as a failover server. If your main server goes down, for any reason, or if it is down for upgrades or other reasons, the second server will take over. This ensures that the user experiences minimal downtime and interruptions. Users are unlikely to notice that they are accessing different servers. hould handle the implementation, the  concept is quite straightforward. The host operating system (host OS), will be used to run the new server. This could be Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, or Citrix XenServer. This host OS will be the new "hardware level" and enable resource sharing (CPU and memory) between your new server.