Federal Data Centers: Server Virtualization

Aug 10, 2011


The key to success with the federal government’s data center consolidation strategy hinges on agencies’ ability to increase the utilization of tens of thousands of servers. That calls for a virtualization strategy that’s well aligned with data center consolidation efforts.

Many federal agencies are already utilizing server virtualization, but there’s an upside to be gained through a broader, more methodical approach. The benefits of server virtualization include reduced energy consumption, lower maintenance and operations costs, improved management and provisioning, faster provisioning, and space savings.

A key technology is the hypervisor, which manages virtual machines and allocates system resources among them. Leading platforms are Citrix XenServer, Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware vSphere. Hypervisors are also available from IBM, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and others, and there are many open source options. These products typically provide provisioning, virtual switching, integrated backup and snapshots of live virtual servers.

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