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The Satellite View: Virtualisation

You may well have a number of servers in your organisation, for example a mail server, a server that runs your case management system, a server for your financial system or each of these  servers.

These are probably underutilised, and you may well have one that is very highly loaded at certain times of the day in which case response times experienced by end users may be excessive. 

Virtualisation allows a small number of physical servers to run a much larger number of 'virtual servers' underneath them, the system sharing resources and balancing the load across each of the virtual machines. In this way, much better utilisation than physically separate servers is achieved, increasing from the typical 15% to as much as 80%. 

There are many other benefits, the main ones being: 

It saves money: Virtualisation reduces the number of physical servers you require, which translates into lower hardware ownership costs including the amount of energy required to power the hardware and provide cooling.

It's good for the environment: Virtualization is a green technology through and through. Energy savings brought on by widespread adoption of virtualization technologies would negate the need to build so many power plants and would thus conserve our earth's energy resources.

It reduces system administration work: With virtualisation in place, system administrators would not have to support so many machines and could then move from firefighting to more strategic administration tasks.

We have recently completed our virtualisation project and have seen significant performance improvements. Twenty-two physically separate servers have been replaced by three physical servers which run the twenty-two virtual servers beneath them.  We would be happy to discuss our experiences if this is of interest, please