Among the leading business challenges facing organizations today are: cost-effective utilization of IT infrastructure; responsiveness in supporting new business initiatives; and flexibility in adapting to organizational changes. Driving an additional sense of urgency is the continued climate of IT budget constraints and more stringent regulatory requirements. Virtualization is a fundamental technological innovation that allows skilled IT managers to deploy creative solutions to such business challenges.
Virtualization reduces energy consumption by allowing you to run your applications on fewer physical servers, which in turn reduces your power and cooling requirements. Cost savings can be significant, up to $500-600 per server per year. These cost savings are only a part of the ROI of virtual infrastructure.
The energy needed to cool and fuel servers is substantial. Virtualization requires less space and thus less electricity and cooling, which is better for the environment.
REDUCTION IN PHYSICAL SPACE REQUIRED BY SERVERS
Virtualization allows for infrastructure growth that is not limited by the physical constraints of increasingly crowded server rooms and datacenters.
Server virtualization allows you to stand up a virtual server quickly so you can deploy new applications rapidly. Additionally, instead of needing one physical server for test and another for production, the same physical server can house multiple workload types and functions such as development and test, production and other workloads. This increased flexibility and consolidation is facilitated by the use of consistent hardware builds.
INCREASED ASSET UTILIZATION
With physical servers, the utilization level of the IT infrastructure is approximately 15%-20% because you need the extra resources in case a server peaks or grows. With virtual servers, you can move from one server to another within seconds so you're free to maximize your capacity at any given time.
HARDWARE REPLACEMENT SAVINGS
With physical servers, hardware will need to be replaced approximately every three years. Virtual servers never wear out. So a physical server refresh does not require a complete rebuild of a virtualized image.
If you have an application or server that is bumping up against capacity, there is typically little you can do. A virtual server can quickly and easily shuffle and reallocate resources to accommodate increased demands.
Virtual machines, by their nature, are independent of the physical hardware they are running on and are completely self-contained. Moving a virtual machine from one physical server to another is as simple as copying all of the associated configuration and virtual disk files to the other server and importing their configuration. It is also much easier to recover a virtual machine than it is to recover a physical machine, using either tape-based or disk-based backups.