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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
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...
Oracle
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»
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Microsoft, Oracle and others in Server Virtualization Software.
278,861 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Oracle
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
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...
Microsoft
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
Consultant
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
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...
VMware
Real User
Managing Director Senior Advisor at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jun 10 2018

What is most valuable?

The UI is very intuitive, you don't have to spend hours before you figure it out. All in all, compared to other environments, like Hyper-V, we find vSphere a lot more user-friendly and intuitive to use.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit of the solution is that you can create template-based servers within minutes. If you were to use a physical server, it would probably take several hours, if not a whole day, to get everything set up the way you need.

What needs improvement?

One thing that would be helpful is, these days we have an environment where we are often using clouds as well. A solution that would be a little more cloud-aware would be really helpful. I know there is a product from VMware that is more... more»
Oracle
Consultant
Head of Oracle Exadata Centre of Excellence at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
May 30 2018

What is most valuable?

The ability to live migrate VMs on the fly from one hypervisor to another has been very useful.

How has it helped my organization?

* Ability to patch with no downtime. * Ability to ensure all prerequisites are satisfied without manual intervention saves time, effort, and makes the systems that we deploy for our clients more secure. * Licensing costs are less for Oracle... more»

What needs improvement?

* We do have a little trepidation with systemd, as it does have a learning curve. * Changing the binary logging format feels like a retrograde motion to us, but sadly almost all Linux variants have moved in this direction.
VMware
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»
Oracle
Consultant
Head of Oracle Exadata Centre of Excellence at a tech services 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.
Oracle
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»
Oracle
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
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»
Oracle
Real User
Senior Principal Engineer/Architect, Oracle ACE Director at a tech company 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»
VMware
Real User
Solutions Architect at McMillan LLP
Apr 27 2018

What is most valuable?

vCenter Appliance, DRS, HA, Update Manager and SRM help us keep our business running smoothly. Having the vCenter Appliance has allowed us to save costs on Windows licenses and have a more stable platform for managing hosts. Also having... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Has kept our business running with very little downtime and our clusters balanced with DRS/HA. We are able to patch our hosts during production hours with the ability to keep services running. It has also given us the HA capabilities for our... more»

What needs improvement?

Get the HTML5 client to 100% parity to replace the Flash client. When the next release comes out ensure all bugs/fixes are implemented as there was some pretty nasty ones on initial 6.5 release.
Real User
QA Sales Engineer at a software R&D company with 51-200 employees
Dec 13 2016

What is most valuable?

I can manage the VirtualBox images. It's a VirtualBox. We work with both VMware and VirtualBox. Linux-wise, I go with the VirtualBox. I don't go with the VMware, because of the simplicity. Especially when you're using Oracle Linux, you are matching the products together. The manageability of the virtual images is much better. That's what I like.

What needs improvement?

If I could maybe have cloud images, that would be awesome. It's going to be hard to manage cloud with a cloud, or image with an image, but hey, if it can be done, we can do that, too. Why not? You have mobility, so you can use something. You can have a server with all of the VirtualBoxes there and the images there. For example, if you are managing an... more»
Oracle
Real User
Project Manager & PeopleSoft Administrator at CMPA
Nov 24 2016

What is most valuable?

Quick provisioning is the most valuable feature. It comes bundled with Oracle Database Appliance and we use it for our PeopleSoft instances. You could basically create an instance for your dev environment, QA, UAT and production, and do it... more»

How has it helped my organization?

As I’ve mentioned, it’s all about speed, quickness; do it pretty quick. We also have customizations. If we have a base image, we can take that base image, apply customizations, take a snapshot, and then we can copy it with a cookie-cutter... more»

What needs improvement?

We're using NFS, which I've been informed might not be the best file system to be using. However, with the latest version, apparently, there are supposed to be some updates that will help with the drivers to use NFS; it would make it more... more»
VMware
Real User
CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Nov 20 2016

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features of this product is the integration of VMware vSphere. If you have experience with this product, it is very simple to configure and use. With minimal studying, you can configure and manage it.

How has it helped my organization?

The main improvement we found is the simplification of configuration. No more SAN configuration is required; no more complex configuration of LUN and presentation to the VMware infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

I think this product has a lot of areas for improvement. First of all, there’s no agnostic option of vSAN to use it with another hypervisor. The only option is to present the storage via NFS (iSCSI will be available with version 6.5). The... more»
VMware
Real User
DPSA III at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Jun 25 2017

What is most valuable?

The most important feature is high availability (HA) which monitors the system and restarts virtual machines to a healthy host whenever the system senses an imminent hardware failure. Another great feature is DRS which is VMWare’s load... more»

How has it helped my organization?

We can bring up brand new servers with a couple of mouse clicks when it used to take a couple of days.

What needs improvement?

Cloning large servers will require just as much space on the virtual volume as the original server. It makes it difficult when your system has limited space.
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Microsoft, Oracle and others in Server Virtualization Software.
278,861 professionals have used our research since 2012.
1,168

2
Head of Oracle Exadata Centre of Excellence
I love technology ... I love opening up stuff and fiddling with the guts. I don't promise that I can put everything back together again or that it will work if I do but as the chinese proverb goes it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive....
28,537

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>>
207
Manager of Infrastructure
Experienced Infrastructure Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in EMC Storage, Storage Area Network (SAN), HP-UX, Data Center, and Storage Solutions. Strong professional graduated from Chris Jan Botha Senior Secondary School.
29
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>>
1,094
TOP 5
http://www.geocities.jp/mki_ltd/page004.html
721
Nitin Vengurlekar is the co-founder and CTO of Viscosity North America, a leader in virtualization, Oracle Engineered Systems, Private Database Cloud and RAC implementations. At Viscosity Nitin is responsible for partner relationship and end-2-end solution deployment. Prior to joining... more>>
7,515
TOP REVIEWER
Project Manager
Hi, I am working as Linux Admin with a MNC. My expertise are messaging with all platforms including Microsoft Exchange, Open Source Postfix, McAfee IronMail and IBM Lotus Domino. :)
42
Infrastructure Architect with a proven track record of successfully delivering innovative infrastructure solutions aligned to the business requirements. Specialties: Hyper-V Windows Azure Pack Active Directory Active Directory Federation Service Exchange Servers Office... more>>
196
Solutions Architect
Highly organized with Strategic thinking AWS Certified Solutions Architect Business Continuity Institute Affiliate Technical Manager / Team Leader Microsoft Hybrid Storage Microsoft Azure IoT Microsoft Mission Critical Application Platform Certified Failure Mode and Effects Analysis... more>>
3,409
TOP 20POPULAR
Senior Systems Engineer
10+ years of success keeping IT systems at peak availability for enterprise businesses; specialized in Virtualization, Exchange, Infrastructure, and Disaster Recovery planning. Proven track record of boosting reliability, security, and performance of business-critical messaging and email... more>>
1,259
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.
850
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>>
6,278
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>>
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
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>>
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>>
196
Systems Support Analyst
Currently working as a systems analyst, I have about four years experience in the area of infrastructure, working directly with analysis, correction of problems and implementing improvements in Microsoft, VMWare and IBM technologies. My experiences include Microsoft technologies, like IIS, AD... more>>
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>>
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>>
893
IT Administrator
Systems Admin.
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>>
3,396
POPULAR
Specialties:Microsoft Infrastructure, SmallBusinessServer, Citrix, VMware, VEEAM, Sonicwall

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