Virtualization is the use of software to create a representation of a technological resource, whether it is a hardware platform, operating system, storage device or other networked resource.
There are different forms of virtualization. It is possible to virtualize the server hardware and the server software, as well as virtualize user sessions and applications. A desktop computer can also be a host for several virtual machines.
According to VMware, it is through virtualization that the most important IT challenge is addressed—the proliferation of infrastructure that forces IT departments to allocate 70% of their budget for maintenance. This leaves scant resources left to invest in innovation.
The difficulty begins with today's x86 server architecture—it is designed to run a single operation system and a single application at a time. As a result, even small data centers must deploy multiple servers, with each operating at only between 5-15% of its capacity, which is inefficient from any point of view.
Virtualization software solves this problem by turning a single physical server into a host that supports multiple and diverse operating systems and applications. Each separate virtual machine is independent from the others and uses the resources of the host computer.