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Virtualization isn’t a new technology but in the last 5 years it’s made significant improvements. Technologies from VMWare (ESX, ESXi and vSphere), Microsoft (Hyper-V 2012) and Sun (VirtualBox) have made it much easier to virtualize servers and workloads and the costs are much more palatable than they once were (and free for simple deployments in the case of ESXi and Hyper-V!)
What is Virtualization?
Put simply, virtualization is the running of servers as though they were applications. Rather than every server in the infrastructure consisting of it’s own hardware, hardware is provisioned independently of the services that run on it. The physical hardware runs what’s called a HyperVisor – this is a very minimal operating system that provides basic functionality to the servers that run on top of it. The hypervisor is simple enough that it doesn’t require any significant management in it’s own right, and doesn’t require regular rebooting and updating to remain operational.
Once the hardware and hypervisor is set up the number of servers that can be provisioned is limited only by the capabilities of the hardware. Individual servers can be started and stopped as though they were applications, and can be managed and backed up in the same way as standard files. Virtualization also makes it much easier to start, reboot and stop individual servers without interrupting service on any related services.
There are many advantages to Application Virtualization and Server Virtualization. Some are more applicable than others to the SMB marketplace – the features we place the most value on include:
Isolation of server hardware from server software.
Because the Virtual servers aren’t tied to the hardware they run on, the hardware and software upgrade cycles aren’t tied together as they previously have been. Traditionally upgrading a server to the latest operating system requires replacing the hardware at the same time or conducting complex migrations. The same is true of upgrading hardware. In a virtualized environment, if extra performance is required new hardware can be purchased and existing servers seamlessly migrated without any difficult reconfiguration. Conversely, a new operating system or application version can initially be run alongside the existing version, sharing the same hardware. Once the new system has been thoroughly tested, the old version can be retired allowing an uninterrupted transition from the old to the new software versions with no requirement for additional hardware.
Ease of backup and recovery
Efficient use of costly resources
It may surprise you to know that in most environments traditional serves are massively under-utilized. Servers must be built with hardware to match the highest expected levels of demand thus at any other time they have spare resources. On the other hand, when sizing resources for virtualized environments it is often more appropriate to consider average demand across several services.
Thanks BlueCompute, you’ve saved me a ton of work! Found the dll file in the application log right where you said it should be, and after checking each driver found the faulty one. Uninstalled it and so far, so good.