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Server virtualization software, sometimes also called platform virtualization software, is a staple of the modern data center. Virtualization involves emulating a complete physical computer in virtual form. As a result, it becomes possible to run multiple “virtual machines” (VMs) on a single physical device. Given the importance of virtualization to infrastructure strategy, current product offerings for server virtualization tend to be feature rich and highly sophisticated.
When evaluating server virtualization solutions, IT Central Station member comments reflect the depth of functionality and nuances of products on the market today. Preferences go well beyond basics like wanting a virtualization package to be flexible and easy to install and configure.
Enterprises are now essentially running their entire infrastructures on top of server virtualization software. As a result, users look for capabilities like automatic mirroring/backup using snapshots on the runtime as a way to minimize the number of fail-recovery procedures and downtime. IT Central Station members pay attention to how well a server virtualization solution can handle multiple physical machines, maintaining relative processing demand to get to optimal usage of each physical machine. The goal is to minimize overload at peak times.
Infrastructure managers emphasize host clustering support. For instance, will a server virtualization software package support at least 8 nodes and 90 VMs? They pay attention to replication and disaster recovery as well as live migration in a VM/concurrent based migration without VM downtime. Users seem to want a granular administration model. Stability is prized.
Portability and usability also drive selection of virtualization managers. With admins on call anywhere, some users want the software to run on a laptop without using up much battery power. The quality of the web client also matters in this context.