Here is a typical IT Infrastructure environment.
You have multiple servers each running different tasks (A file server, mail server, web server, database server, application server etc.). This means that you have different power supplies drawing power to run each of those different servers which then translates to more cooling requirements. The different machines cannot collaborate, meaning lots of resources such as computer memory, storage and processing power will be strained in some of the servers but underutilized in others.
What is server virtualization?
X86 server hardware was designed to run a single operating system and hence leaving most servers vastly underutilized and causing larger and more complex IT infrastructure.
Virtualization software separates the underlying hardware from the operating system thus enabling multiple operating systems and applications to run on the same server.
Image source: http://docs.hol.vmware.com/HOL-2017/hol-1810-01-sdc_html_en/
The benefits of server virtualization
Save Money: – A highly specialized and virtualized machine could replace 4 or even more individual computers thus saving money on both the purchase of hardware and the reduced energy consumption.
Efficient use of system resources: – Most computers operate using as little as 7% of their resources. Virtualization enables an efficient use of the resources (Storage, processing power, memory) as new virtual machines will share the resources.
Consolidate management: – Managing servers in a physical environment is time consuming. The consolidated environment eases the process of doing routine maintenance.
Robust security: – Due to the isolated nature of virtual machines, applications are secured by virtual security that is adaptive and protects the virtual machines from malware that migrates from host to host.