Data Center Virtualization

What is Data Center Virtualization?

Data center virtualization is the transfer of physical data centers into digital data centers (i.e., virtual) using a cloud software platform, enabling companies to remotely access information and applications.

Why has data center virtualization emerged?

Historically, data centers have been kept and managed in a physical state from one central location; however, developments in cloud computing and an increased demand for flexible IT solutions have led to emergent technologies that literally transform the traditional data center.

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How does data center virtualization work?

Data center virtualization is the process of creating a virtual server—sometimes called a software defined data center (SDCC)—from traditional, physical servers. The process abstracts physical hardware by mimicking its processors, operating system, and other resources with help from a hypervisor. A hypervisor is a software that creates and manages a virtual machine (VM) that, in this process, helps align communication with a central processing unit (CPU). Typically, data center virtualization results in one or several cloud infrastructures, an interconnected system of virtualized hardware, and other digital components.

How are virtualized data centers managed?

Virtualized data center platforms can be managed from a central physical location (private cloud) or a remote third-party location (public cloud), or any combination of both (hybrid cloud). On-site virtualized servers are deployed, managed, and protected by private or in-house teams. Alternatively, third-party servers are operated in remote data centers by another service provider who offers cloud infrastructure solutions to many different organizations and companies based on set fees or a consumption-based (i.e., pay for what you use) model.

What are the benefits of data center virtualization?

Virtual data center design offers a variety of benefits for IT specialists and end users alike.

Scalability: Unlike physical servers, which need extensive and, at times, expensive sourcing and time management, virtual data centers are relatively simple, quick, and inexpensive to set up. They can be added in response to rapid rises in demand for processing and other resources, or downsized when they are no longer necessary—something that is not possible with metal servers.

Enhanced functionality: Virtualized resources decentralize the notion of the modern office. Before virtualization, everything from common tasks and daily interactions to in-depth analytics and data storage happened at the server level and could only be accessed from one location. Virtualized resources can be accessed from anywhere with a strong enough Internet connection. For example, employees can access data and other applications from remote locations, making productivity possible outside the office. Virtualized servers also enable versatile collaboration and sharing opportunities through cloud-based applications like video conferencing, word processing, and other content creation tools.

Cost savings: Data center virtualization eliminates the higher management and maintenance associated with physical servers, which are typically outsourced to third-party providers. And unlike their physical counterparts, virtual servers are often offered as part of a consumption-based model, meaning companies only pay for what they use. By contrast, whether physical servers are used or not, companies still incur costs for their maintenance. And the additional functionality that virtualized data centers offer can reduce other business expenses like travel costs.

HPE data center virtualization solutions

HPE is a frontrunner in helping major enterprises accelerate their digital transformations. Known for providing powerful solutions that are simple to deploy and manage locally and remotely, we offer servers that include a diverse set of security features to help mitigate risks and potential business disruption. Built on HPE ProLiant ML and DL servers and powered by robust Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, our servers are optimized to run Microsoft® Windows Server® with Microsoft Hyper-V® or VMware vSphere®.

HPE also offers services like HPE GreenLake that help companies and institutions deploy and allocate virtualized, cloud-based resources for their specific workloads and business needs. This managed solution is based on a pay-per-use model, giving enterprises a low-cost way to scale IT to meet demand, and puts less strain on IT administrators by letting them focus on business innovation.

Companies considering data center virtualization that see finances as a hurdle to adoption can work with HPE Financial Services to find ways to pay for the solutions they need.