Server Virtualization

What is Server Virtualization?

Server virtualization abstracts server software from hardware on a guest/host basis, enabling multiple virtual servers to run on a physical device. It is the basis for cloud computing and hybrid cloud.

How does server virtualization work?

Server virtualization is a software architecture that allows more than one server operating system to run as a guest on a given physical server host. With the server software abstracted away from the physical machine in this way, the server becomes a "virtual machine” (VM), detached from the physical plane—though the server "thinks" it is running exclusively on the compute and memory resources. It’s actually running on a virtual imitation of the server hardware.

What are the benefits of server virtualization?

Server virtualization enables more efficient use of IT resources than was previously possible. Before server virtualization, it was common to have under- and over-utilized hardware in the same data center. With virtualization, one can move workloads between virtual machines according to load. The same physical server can also run multiple server operating systems and configurations, further increasing efficiency.

What are the types of server virtualization?

Full virtualization

By far the most popular form of server virtualization, full virtualization means that a designated hypervisor works directly with a physical server to monitor and abstract its resources and then distribute those resources to its associated virtual machines as necessary. Full virtualization keeps each of these VMs separate from the others, with each VM running its own operating system (OS). 


Para-virtualization is another form of server virtualization and is similar to full virtualization in its component pieces. The main difference between the two is that each VM is aware of the others and the amount of resources their OSes are using, meaning they can then work together more efficiently.

OS-level virtualization

In OS-level virtualization, the virtualization occurs within the physical server’s OS rather than being accomplished via a hypervisor. Because of this, the VMs must run the same OS as the physical server, although they still function separately from one another.

HPE and server virtualization

HPE offers you an extensive, adaptable portfolio of server virtualization and storage virtualization solutions. Partnering with HPE for server virtualization means you get fast deployment, performance at scale, efficient use of server and storage resources, as well as the ability to deliver high availability. When you combine HPE server virtualization with an HPE storage platform, you can increase the agility, reliability, and scalability of your mission critical applications.