More on server virtualization
You've heard only a few of the reasons that virtualization is a hot technology: It saves money, it lowers the number of physical servers, and it is a green. However, there are other reasons to virtualize your infrastructure, especially for those who work with virtual machines as their primary job duty.
These 10 reasons are aimed at the system administrators and virtualization administrators who manage those environments.
1. Common Management Interface
Having all your servers available in a single application is cool, but the ability to control those servers from that single interface is downright arctic. Virtualization offers access to virtual machine (VM) hardware, consoles and storage. Your entire gaggle of systems as readily available as a pocket protector full of trade show pens is almost too good to be true.
2. ILO Not Required
For the unlucky lot whose hands-on techs don't setup your Integrated Lights Out (ILO) interfaces, virtualization removes that burden for the better. Virtualization allows you to boot a VM from a powered-off state without the need for physical access to the system. The number of saved trips into the data center is worth the most minuscule return on investment from switching to a virtual infrastructure.
3. Easy "Hardware" Changes
Changing hardware and upgrading systems is no trip to the beach. In fact, it's absolutely maddening inside even the most plush data centers where you must kneel, stretch and bend in unnatural ways to break open a case, remove old hardware and install the new pieces. And, after all that fun, your hardware might not work and you have to repeat the process -- possibly multiple times. You can upgrade memory, increase the number of CPUs and add new hard disks to a VM with a few mouse clicks. You won't need any tools, yoga lessons or trips to the chiropractor after upgrading the hardware in a VM.
Before you read another line, go and take a snapshot of your favorite physical server. Can't do that, you say? You're correct, you can't. VMs have the unique fortune to have snapshot capability built in. A snapshot is an exact copy of your working VM prior to doing something to it that has the potential to make it not work. Fortunately, should that happen, you can revert to the snapshot and remove the faulty VM.
VMs are the perfect computer-flavored "guinea pigs" that happily promote the concept of a "do over." Using a standard VM, you can prototype an application, database or operating system enhancement without spending hours reimaging a physical system after each unsuccessful attempt.