Server virtualization

Server virtualization is the process of fractionating a single physical server into multiple virtual servers. It helps you make the most of your server resources, is economic, and makes servers easy to maintain. Additionally, when a server is virtualized, multiple operating systems (OSes) are hosted in a single device without any incompatibility instances. Since this is beneficial to today's business setups, most organizations are looking to virtualize their servers. Here's what you will need to know about it.

Why does your organization need server virtualization?

Server virtualization is a versatile technology wherein a single physical server is divided into multiple virtual servers. These virtual servers, though residing on a single physical server, can use multiple OSes (which is not possible with conventional servers). This means, these virtual servers become capable of running multiple tasks at a given time and the fullest capacity of the server is rightly utilized.

Multitasking slows down the performance in traditional physical servers. By virtualizing servers, you'll increase the efficiency of each server. This logically cuts down on costs because you can apply a layer of software rather than purchasing additional servers. The related benefits include saving space, energy conservation, faster disaster recovery, improved resource utilization, and quicker deployment - all of which makes this a right choice for organizations of all sizes.

Types of server virtualization

There are 3 main types of server virtualization and depending on the purpose of your network to be virtualized, you should choose the right one for your organization.

To understand these types of virtualization, it is important to be aware of what a hypervisor is. A hypervisor fills the gap between a machine's OS and its hardware. This layer of software is responsible for allocating resources like memory and it allows the physical server to host multiple virtual servers.

Full virtualization:

Hypervisor is unique software that communicates with the server to monitor its critical metrics. After a period of monitoring, the required resources for these servers are allocated by the hypervisor. In full virtualization, multiple OSes run simultaneously on a computer without draining its resources.

Para virtualization:

It is understood that virtualization is when multiple servers, each with an independent OS, are run on a physical server. In para virtualization, every server is aware of itself, meaning the hypervisor is on autopilot mode and the resource allocation is taken care by the server itself.

OS virtualization:

In this case, a single OS itself behaves like a hypervisor where multiple virtual spaces are hosted on a single OS. This is one of the basic types of virtualization. The task of allocating resources and segregating multiple OSes is taken care by the physical server's OS.

Advantages of server virtualization

  • Post installation, in the place of 10 physical servers, you might have only 2 or 3 depending on the criticality of the server. This means less maintenance, less hassle, and less money spent.
  • It is easy to deploy, and efficient resource provisioning and utilization is ensured when it comes to virtual servers.
  • Virtualizing your server is a big contributor to saving energy by reducing resource usage.
  • It is easy for network admins to create new servers with virtualization, making this method highly scalable and flexible.
  • Multiple OSes can be hosted in a single physical server, giving room for more productivity, better resource management, and quicker disaster recovery.

Challenges of server virtualization

Hardware failure:

The possibility of hardware failure on a machine hosting virtualized servers is considered a major drawback. Whenever there is a hardware failure, all your critical servers and the associated applications and tasks will be down until the hardware issue is fixed.

Economic but expensive:

When somebody talks about the advantages of server virtualization, cost-effectiveness is widely spoken about. But this endeavor is economic only after the initial installation process. After which, the number of physical servers is reduced, the maintenance fee is cut, energy utilization is reduced, and the cost of additional equipment (like coolers to keep the server at the right temperature) is subsequently reduced. However, the initial costs of installation and licensing can be huge.

Capacity planning:

Planning capacity in finite physical servers itself is often looked upon as a challenge. However, in the case of virtual servers, it is even more difficult as a single server might have many critical virtual servers hosted in it. As virtualization evolves, it is important to optimize VMs according to the organization's need. If not forecasted clearly, there will be improperly utilized resources or overflowing data leading to unwanted data loss.

VM sprawl:

Since virtualization provides the freedom to create virtual servers as and when required, it is usually easy to accumulate VMs and lose track of the unused servers. These unused servers continue utilizing the computer resources, thereby impacting the performance of the VM.


It should be understood that not every server or application should or could be virtualized. It is always good to check with the vendor if virtualization is supported in the server you want to virtualize. Apart from this, availability and security is always a concern—if a single physical server becomes unavailable or is exposed to a threat, all the hosted virtual servers go down or are at risk.

Virtualization is a great idea for any organization looking to scale quickly and save more. However, once implemented, failing to properly monitored the setup will result in failing VM infrastructure. A good monitoring tool is all you need to save your virtual server environment.

Virtual server management 101 with OpManager

OpManager is holistic network monitoring software that includes a robust set of virtual monitoring features. It helps network administrators monitor, identify, and troubleshoot faults, as well as manage an entire virtual environment in just a few clicks. The simple, self-guiding UI makes it easy for anyone to make use of OpManager effectively. With VMware, Hyper-V, and Citrix Hypervisor monitoring features, you'll be able to monitor hybrid virtual environments.

  • Instantly discover your virtual servers in bulk using any one of the 4 supported methods: IP range, subnets, import from CSV, or import from AD using VMware credentials. With the dedicated virtualization discovery option, you can also discover virtual devices one at a time.
  • As soon as your virtual environment is onboarded into OpManager, specific virtual server monitors are assigned. This helps track crucial metrics like CPU, memory, disk utilization, and network utilization.
  • OpManager's AI-ML powered adaptive thresholds feature automatically assigns a threshold value of critical monitors like CPU, memory, and response time—each based on real-time performance analysis. This keeps the network administrator informed of any network faults, well before it affects the end users.
  • Server virtualization is highly dynamic and there isn't a particular number of virtual servers that a single physical server is meant to be split into. That's what makes capacity planning one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to virtual servers. OpManager's capacity forecaster furnishes you with CPU and memory availability recommendations. This will help you improve your VM's performance without the hassle of keeping track of your virtual environment's capacity.
  • The powerful network visualization techniques help you visualize the real-time topology of your virtual environment. Not just that, it helps relate hosts and VMs via diagrams, helping you understand the relationship between your virtual devices better.
  • Minor cascades of everyday tasks can take up most of your time. OpManager's curated workflows help you automate maintenance tasks and based on pre-defined flow of actions, network faults are automatically remediated.
  • Configure the notification profile to receive alerts via various communication channels like email, SMS, Slack, Telegram or as tickets by integrating to ticketing tools like ServiceDesk Plus, ServiceDesk Plus Cloud, ServiceNow, Jira, etc.
  • OpManager's report feature helps you generate over 100 meaningful reports with VM related data, empowering you to take actionable business decisions. With the customizable dashboard, you'll be able to reorganize the widgets and see what is significant to your organization, as soon as you login.

Over and above, affordability with transparent pricing options makes OpManager the top network monitoring software, like how it is for over 1 million administrators worldwide. Book your 30-day free trial with us today and learn why network monitoring with OpManager is easy.

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