Virtualization is technology that allows you to create multiple simulated environments or dedicated resources from a single, physical hardware system. Software called a hypervisor connects directly to that hardware and allows you to split 1 system into separate, distinct, and secure environments known as virtual machines (VMs). These VMs rely on the hypervisor’s ability to separate the machine’s resources from the hardware and distribute them appropriately. Virtualization helps you get the most value from previous investments.
Virtualizing resources lets administrators pool their physical resources, so their hardware can truly be commoditized. So the legacy infrastructure that’s expensive to maintain, but supports important apps, can be virtualized for optimal use.
Administrators no longer have to wait for every app to be certified on new hardware; just set up the environment, migrate the VM, and everything works as before. During regression tests, a testbed can be created or copied easily, eliminating the need for dedicated testing hardware or redundant development servers. With the right training and knowledge, these environments can be further optimized to gain greater capabilities and density.
Virtualization is an elegant solution to many common security problems. In environments where security policies require systems separated by a firewall, those 2 systems could safely reside on the same physical box. In a development environment, each developer can have their own sandbox, immune from another developer’s rogue or runaway code.