Virtualization is the process of creating a virtual, rather than physical, version of something. Virtualization can apply to computers, operating systems, storage devices, applications, networks and even your IP phone system components. However, server virtualization is at the heart of it.
Organizations are challenged by the limitations of today’s servers, which are designed to run just one operating system and application at a time. As a result, even small data centres are forced to deploy many servers, each operating at just 5 to 15 percent of capacity — highly inefficient by any standard. Virtualization uses software to simulate the existence of hardware and create a virtual computer system.
Doing this allows businesses to run more than one virtual system – and multiple operating systems and applications -- on a single server. This can provide economies of scale and greater efficiency.