Virtualization is more than Consolidation.
Virtualization in all its forms enables consolidation. It allows you to take multiple racks of 1U servers and squeeze them into a much smaller form factor that’s easier to power, cool and manage. It provides a way to take hundreds of disk drives and manage them as a storage pool driving higher utilization and reducing administrative costs. Virtualization allows you to break the ties between workloads and the physical devices on which they run giving the IT staff the flexibility to make sure critical workloads always have the resources they need.
There are other forms of virtualization we can consider as well. Application virtualization provides another way to separate workloads from their physical environment. We can illustrate this by first looking back to the days of “scale out” architecture in data centers. If you needed an additional web server you’d buy another 1U server, configure it with the operating system and web server you needed, test it and add it to your rack. Today you’d use a product like Websphere to create an additional virtual web server which would immediately increase your capacity. Once that capacity is no longer needed Web Sphere can remove it from the operating environment. When you add systems virtualization to application virtualization the possibilities are limitless.
Virtual workloads, virtual machines and virtual appliances are all part of Virtualization. Consolidation and the money it saves is important but it’s only the beginning.
Sam Van Alstyne, Cross-IBM Virtualization Marketing and Strategy