Virtualizing Server Workloads: Looking Beyond Current Assumptions

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Executive Summary

Advances in hardware virtualization technology are making it possible to virtualize an ever-wider range of x86- based server workloads. This has moved server virtualization out of its traditional domain of test and development environments and firmly into the sphere of mission-critical enterprise applications, making it imperative to expand the definition of workloads that are suitable for virtualization. It is no longer enough to consider some workloads (file and print sharing, Web servers, and others) as suitable for virtualization while categorically ruling out virtualizing others (such as databases and e-mail servers). Every production server workload has distinct performance characteristics in storage, processing power, and memory requirements that affect suitability for virtualization.

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