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What is Server Virtualization Software?

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. 


Best Server Virtualization Software Companies

Read reviews of Server Virtualization Software that are trending in the IT Central Station community:
Your trust is our top concern, so companies can't alter or remove reviews.
Vmware logo
VMware
Picture 2062 1366925335
Consultant
Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant at Server StorageIO - www.storageio.com
Apr 23 2017

What do you think of vSphere?

PART I Have you spent time searching the VMware documentation, on-line forums, venues and books to decide how to make a local dedicated direct attached storage (DAS) type device (e.g. SATA or SAS) be Raw Device Mappings (RDM)' Part two of this post looks at how to make an RDM using an internal SATA HDD. Or how about how to make a Hybrid Hard disk drive (HHDD) that is faster than a regular Hard Disk Drive (HDD) on reads, however more capacity and less cost than a Solid State Device (SSD) actually appear to VMware as a SSD' Recently I had these and some other questions and spent some time looking around, thus this post highlights some great information I have found for addressing the above VMware challenges and some others. The SSD solution is via a post I found on fellow...
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
67bec505 c0df 4d5f 9487 fd7f08a1f3f1 avatar
Real User
Senior Hyperion Systems Architect at Loudoun County Govt.
Mar 07 2017

What is most valuable?

The valuable features are the cost and the convenience of the physical machines, meaning that you can have multiple virtual machines that you can use for many other different tools, not just Hyperion. We work with different Oracle products... more»

How has it helped my organization?

For example, we are going to upgrade our Oracle BI product, so that needs to have more servers. What we are thinking to do is to create more VM's in the same physical server instead of buying more physical servers. It's just a matter of... more»

What needs improvement?

Initially, you did not have an option in Oracle VM to build an image and just restore into a different physical or virtual environment, but now the option is included. That's one thing I thought wasn't there and wanted to have, because we are... more»
Server virtualization software report from it central station 2018 04 07 thumbnail
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Oracle, Microsoft and others in Server Virtualization Software.
264,454 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
Eab42d3a af36 4300 a76a 2cbb507d0f60 avatar
Real User
Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Oct 31 2016

What is most valuable?

I think the most intriguing thing about Oracle VM is it's an enterprise-grade hypervisor. So it handles all the virtualization, and it's free. You don't hear the word Oracle and Free a lot, but there's a lot of stuff at Oracle that is free... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Cloning VMs helps a ton, especially when interface into EM, so users can build their own sandbox environmentnt, complete with WebLogic AND Database

What needs improvement?

What features would I like to see in Oracle VM in future releases? I can think of a ton of them. Some of them are just coming out. Better disaster recovery, though they just introduced a new technology called Oracle VM Site Guard that's... more»
Microsoft 400x400
Microsoft
Add tm
Real User
Architect at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Aug 22 2016

What do you think of Hyper-V?

With the release of Windows Server 2012 Microsoft offers a new way to store Hyper-V Virtual Machine on a shared storage. In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Microsoft did only offer block-based shared-storage like Fiber channel or iSCSI. With Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Microsoft allows you to used file-based storage to run Hyper-V Virtual Machine from via the new SMB 3.0 protocol. This means Hyper-V over SMB allows you to store virtual machines on a SMB file share. In the past years I did a lot of Hyper-V implementations working with iSCSI or Fiber channel storage, and I am really happy with the new possibilities SMB 3.0 offers. The common problem of block storage is that the Hyper-V host has to handle the storage connection. That means if you use...
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
IT Manager at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Apr 28 2016

What is most valuable?

* Bare metal virtualization * SR-IOV * Live migration * Hardware compliance

How has it helped my organization?

This product is directly related to hardware, so it is a complete technology with hardware, operating system, and virtualization software. The following are attributes that have improved my organization - * Robustness * Security * Scalability... more»

What needs improvement?

* The SR-IOV technology should be improved more as it only supports basic functions. * It does not have a graphical maintenance screen. The OVM manager interface has so little functionality for managing control domains only. It is not a big... more»
Vmware logo
VMware
Chieftec194427 li?1423860366
Real User
Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
May 16 2016

What is most valuable?

Stability of the Hypervisor, DRS, and HA are some of the more valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

VMWare (and any virtualization platform) completely changes the way an organization functions. The way you investment in hardware is done from a completely different perspective, in that an initial capital investment is required, and the... more»

What needs improvement?

Nothing I can think of. For a while, allowing for HA without shared storage was a missing feature, but as of 5.1, VMware introduced that feature.
Microsoft 400x400
Microsoft
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Technology Systems Analyst with 1-10 employees
Oct 03 2017

What is most valuable?

The simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform. It was a very simple adaptation, if you have any experience in virtualization.

How has it helped my organization?

Just to be able to efficiently utilize our power hardware. Gone are the days of one pizza box for a two-core CPU. You've got dozens of cores in one box, and you can't use them all if you just run one thing on one server, so you've got to... more»

What needs improvement?

There is a hard limitation of 20 gigs per file with Dropbox, so you've got to overcome that by chunking the zip files into something smaller and manageable. But that's going to depend on the bandwidth. You can have an adverse effect as well,... more»
Vmware logo
VMware
24d5208d 757b 4e2a b185 c1becfc11a93 avatar?1453303507
Real User
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 24 2017

What is most valuable?

Having the ability to deploy fault tolerant VM’s with up to 4 CPUs is fantastic as it goes one level up from a business continuity perspective. Previously, VMware was covering, with just vSphere, backups and DR, and now it also covers a... more»

How has it helped my organization?

vSphere has been deployed in many of our customers. It improves drastically DC consolidation and proper use of available resources. At present, virtualised customers are still far from fully leveraging the potential of vSphere in part due to... more»

What needs improvement?

I’d like to see a better web console or rather, transform the web console in a real single pane of glass for the whole infrastructure instead of having to go for vRealize Ops Manager. Other vendors are providing this already and vSphere... more»
Microsoft 400x400
Microsoft
Picture 2062 1366925335
Consultant
Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant at Server StorageIO - www.storageio.com
Jan 04 2017

What do you think of Hyper-V?

Happy 20th Birthday Windows Server, ready for Server 2016? In case you have not heard,  is celebrating the 20th birthday (or anniversary) of Windows Server.  has a nice site with info graphics and timelines of where Windows Server has been and accomplished over the past 20 years. Some of you may remember from 20 years ago Windows Server with a different name aka Windows NT Server. Back in the day, if you recall (or read), server requirements were more in the 33 MHz vs. 3.3GHz range, 32MB of RAM Memory vs. 32GB to 320GB, 150MB HDD vs. 150GB SSD or 1.5TB HDD. Keep in mind that 20 years ago Linux was a relative new thing with Red Hat not yet quite household or more specific enterprise name. The various Unix (e.g. IBM AIX, HP HP-UX, Sun Solaris, DEC Unix and Ultrix...
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
84cc44f8 af29 4452 868c 0d7652bfbb49 avatar
Real User
Oracle Database Administrator at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
May 18 2016

What is most valuable?

Live migrations work as advertised and, if set right, it moves VMs around to balance out the resources.

What needs improvement?

Development of the product seems slow, but then again, I do not want a rushed product. Oracle states that this is their solution for their products, but Windows is fully supported. It may not have all the features of VMware, but those features come at a cost (monetarily and performance-wise). I want a rock solid foundation, and I don't want a bunch of hooks into... more»
Vmware logo
VMware
C9401beb edfa 4055 b296 35c94b2ca6f3 avatar?1455614126
Real User
Senior Network Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Oct 19 2017

What is most valuable?

The most important feature for us is clearly the foundation it provides. In addition to that, we've found the High Availability and flexibility to be important as well.

How has it helped my organization?

It's made us a lot more agile. We don't have to acquire new hardware just to bring it up or utilize new services for our customers. It makes it a lot easier for my team to allocate resources for the other business teams at the company.

What needs improvement?

I definitely could see some improvements in Operations Management. That's another product that they have, but it's lacking in a few things. I feel that it's not as aggressive as it should or could be. They have different levels built into it,... more»
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
8731e9fe c474 4f03 ba07 8f7fff26757e avatar
Real User
Unix System Engineer / Oracle Pre-sales Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Apr 28 2016

What is most valuable?

* Diverse guest operating system support: 10/10 * Secure live VM migration: 8/10 * Storage live VM migration: 8/10 * High Availability: 10/10 * Advanced management for zero extra cost: 10/10 * Faster software deployment with Oracle VM templates: 10/10 * Virtual Appliance support: 10/10 * Rapid VM provisioning and cloning: 10/10 * Full Stack management: 10/10 It... more»

What needs improvement?

The only improvement that I want to see is more flexibility in configuring and managing Oracle VM server with a CLI if there is no Oracle VM Manager. Oracle restricts you to managing the Oracle VM server via Oracle VM Manager and not through a CLI on Oracle VM Server.
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
Robin saikat chatterjee li?1414330053
Real User
Head of Oracle Exadata Centre of Excellence at a tech consulting company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Oct 14 2016

What is most valuable?

This is supported by Oracle and optimized for running its database and software. Among the benefits is the ability to create huge pages within a VM, which is very beneficial for databases. The other major benefit is the ability to use OVM as... more»

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to run many different solutions on a small number of hypervisors. We can shut down those solutions that are currently not of interest and can expand or contract the resources, such as memory, that are assigned to different... more»

What needs improvement?

Currently, there are some cases when the GUI and the back-end go out of sync. For example, the GUI shows the VM as running whereas it is actually already shut down. This could be improved.
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Sr. Unix System Administrator at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 03 2016

What is most valuable?

Oracle VM allows you to control your licensing costs for Oracle because Oracle allows hard partitioning to control the number of cores you’re licensing.

How has it helped my organization?

You save vast amounts of money. It's also very robust and it allows you to better use your hardware.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to include greater flexibility. I would like them to include multitudinous users and permissions capabilities. I would like them to design the system so that it is optimized for 10GB Ethernet at a minimum as opposed to 1GB... more»
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
IT Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Apr 24 2016

What is most valuable?

Stability has proven to be satisfactory. The deployment is simple, a lot of the configurations, particularly the network related ones, have been made much simpler and cleaner in the latest releases (3.3.2+), and the GUI has become more responsive.

What needs improvement?

At the moment the discovery of hosts and configuration can be performed only via the GUI and not by a command line on the hosts. To resolve some other issues, we decided to install Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud 13c to add monitoring capabilities, which OVM Manager lacks completely. Oracle claims "whatever you can do via manager, you can do via EC", but in my... more»
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
9d909c2a 162e 4f4f 9e95 b49ffd35618a avatar
Real User
User at Mythics Inc
Dec 17 2017

What is most valuable?

Oracle VM is a great free product from Oracle. I love that, when I can say "free from Oracle." It’s a full feature hypervisor. It competes well with other hypervisors in the market. However, it’s free. You don’t pay anything to use it. You... more»

How has it helped my organization?

The big benefits to Oracle VM that I see in users that I work with are, first of all, performance. You don’t have what I call the "virtualization tax" like you do on other hypervisors. The CPU that you buy actually becomes more and more... more»

What needs improvement?

One is the hypervisor. Right now, it’s all using Xen. What would be really helpful is to have some choice, and the underlying hypervisor technology use KVM which is very popular with certain workloads. There are also some features around it,... more»
Vmware logo
VMware
E38528a4 f850 4e78 aee5 6c674398d692 avatar?1452432316
Real User
Deputy Director at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Aug 25 2017

What is most valuable?

* vMotion is one of the most useful features, which helps to provide both flexibility and High Availability. With new versions of vSphere and vCenter, it is still improving (e.g., vMotion across vCenter Servers and virtual switches). * High... more»

How has it helped my organization?

A good example is that we had improved organizational functions by providing much more IT services with the same IT staff. It is also worthy to mention that the quality of our services considerably increased. This infrastructure helps us to... more»

What needs improvement?

Big improvements were introduced in v6 compared with v5.5, but I am still expecting some additional improvements for our activity. Another area is the backup solutions that are relying on CBT. For the moment it is resolved, but due to the... more»
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
Julio
Consultant
Oracle Consultant & DBA - Cloud Support Engineer at Amazon Web Services
Apr 24 2016

What is most valuable?

Oracle license compatibility was the deciding factor for us. It's the only way to fulfill the Oracle license policy if you want to virtualize in a x86 environment. Also, Oracle VM performance is one of the best that I've experienced. And the... more»

How has it helped my organization?

I work in a consultancy, so I've deployed several OVM environments always with great results and high customer satisfaction. We've achieved the goal of being in line with the Oracle license, providing customers with better usage of their... more»

What needs improvement?

The product needs to improve the backup and snapshot functionalities. This is the main disadvantage compared to other hypervisors on the market.
Add diransarkissian
Real User
PeopleSoft Administrator at a K-12 educational company or school with 1,001-5,000 employees
Apr 28 2016

What is most valuable?

The biggest feature that we like and which is most valuable for us is the fact that Virtualbox is easy to set up, it's ready to go, and we can install Oracle PeopleSoft images on a Linux OS in a fairly quick and efficient time with minimal... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Our ability to keep up with Oracle PeopleSoft images being installed on the Oracle VM has sped up our turnaround time and allowed us to save time for applying updates to a delivered environment to begin analysis\extraction of fixes and review... more»

What needs improvement?

There were some minor issues with the initial setup, such as if we forgot to reinitialize the MAC addresses of the network cards. Also, setting up the network adaptors was a bit tricky.
Jt hjyjg 400x400
Oracle
3785b8d2 d4d4 4c2b b034 9943f4414369 avatar
Real User
Senior Principal Engineer/Architect, Oracle ACE Director at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 08 2016

What is most valuable?

There are many valuable features. I'm only naming a few here. First, it provides the enterprise-level hypervisor that supports virtual machines to run enterprise applications. It allows virtual machines to use a specific number of physical... more»

How has it helped my organization?

I am on a team that is responsible for validating and architecting Oracle VM on Dell servers and storage. For example, we helped a customer design a private cloud system based on Oracle VM, Dell's latest 13g servers and Dell flash-based... more»

What needs improvement?

The product works well for all its intended purposes. I would prefer that Oracle provide more backup capability for the Oracle VM stack, including the applications running on virtual machines. It would be even better if Oracle Enterprise... more»
Server virtualization software report from it central station 2018 04 07 thumbnail
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Oracle, Microsoft and others in Server Virtualization Software.
264,454 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Picture 2062 1366925335
28,375

8
TOP 5POPULAR
Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant
Greg Schulz is Founder and Sr Advisor of the independent IT advisory and consultancy firm Server StorageIO (StorageIO). StorageIO provides advisory and consultancy services in and around data infrastructure, cloud, virtualization, container, software-defined, NVMe, flash, object storage,... more>>
Anonymous avatar x100
18
Sr. IT & Business Consultant
23+ years in the IT industry, incl. management and consulting, national & international (EMEA, USA, Middle East), PhD in IT for engineers, certified in ITIL, Certified in Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), Certified PRINCE2 Practitioner, VMware Certified Professional (VCP). KEY PROFESSIONAL... more>>
Anonymous avatar x100
1,094
TOP 5
http://www.geocities.jp/mki_ltd/page004.html
Julio
1,256
Oracle Consultant & DBA - Cloud Support Engineer
Over 13 years experience as an Oracle DBA, Oracle Application Server Administrator, Oracle Golden Gate Specialist, Red Hat Certified Engineer and Network Administrator. Specialties: Architecture definitions, installations, disaster recovery, clustering, performance tuning, replications.
Add didio
848
Extensive analyst and reporting expertise. Over a decade (12+ years) of experience as senior level high technology Research Analyst at Yankee Group and Giga Information Group. In this capacity, I interacted with a wide variety of leading software, hardware and networking vendors and did extensive... more>>
Patrik li?1414329414
6,277
POPULAR
Consultant
Courses: 1999 Compaq Proliant Servers 1999 Ms Windows NT 4.0 Fundamentals 2002 Ms Windows XP Fundamentals 2002 HP Unix Fundamentals 2006 Linux System Administration 2007 HP Linux course for advanced unix administrators 2009 HP Linux Troubleshooting 2012 Prince 2 Foundation 2012... more>>
Tim goedde li?1414329956
688
Certifications: VMware Certified Professional vSphere 5 Accreditations: Infrastructure Virtualization Technical Post-Sales Accreditation: vSphere 5 VTSP – Business Continuity 5 VSP – Business Continuity 5 VSP 5 VTSP 5 Capacity Planner Accreditation
Howard bergman li?1414331371
612
Infra Director
Business Development Specialist Howard has worked in the technology industry for over 20 years building client focused sales and service strategies. Howard is a strategic thinker and is trusted by many prominent organizations. Howard has guided organizations through complex IT... more>>
79ecc374 f1ea 4698 9fe4 5b4f94211a78 avatar?1437124331
161
My experience is built from a passion for technical solutions and use this technology to architect problem solving solutions. With my experience in management of multidisciplinary teams I have been able to setup a firm cloud foundation. Building further services on top and growing the company at... more>>
C89bdd1a 6518 4326 8b61 24d498da591e avatar?1438672540
235
Technical lead - Infrastructure Consulting / Transformation
Sakar Upadhya has 9 years of IT experience in enterprise infrastructure design, implementation, and administration. He has successfully executed several VMware & Windows implementation projects to the cloud infrastructure that have yielded major improvements in operations, reduced total cost... more>>
F9ba3bdc 7451 48fb 99b9 cb32a715a69f avatar?1438553674
528
Technical Director - IT Consultant
VMware vExpert 2014/2015 VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) Itil v4 Foundation Certified MCSA: Windows Server 2008 MCTS: Windows Server® 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuration MCTS: Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory, Configuration Microsoft®... more>>
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1,756
POPULAR
Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is... more>>
Add robertdick
3,392
POPULAR
Specialties:Microsoft Infrastructure, SmallBusinessServer, Citrix, VMware, VEEAM, Sonicwall
Reviewed Veeam Backup & Replication: Back up to remote location & ability to handle...

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