How virtualization helps to manage data center?

Virtualization refers to technologies that abstract the physical hardware and resources of a computing environment into virtual or logical representations. This allows IT administrators to simulate computers and networks in software, making it easy to dynamically allocate resources as needed without being limited by physical constraints.

Virtualization provides many benefits for modern data centers including improved hardware utilization, cost savings, faster provisioning, increased scalability, enhanced security, simplified maintenance, and better disaster recovery. This overview will explore how implementing virtualization helps data centers to more efficiently manage their infrastructure and workloads.

Some key advantages of utilizing virtualization in data centers include:

  • Allowing multiple virtual servers and workloads to run on the same physical server, improving hardware usage.
  • Reducing costs by needing less physical hardware.
  • Provisioning new virtual servers and resources quickly and easily.
  • Scaling capacity dynamically by adding resources to virtual machines.
  • Isolating and protecting virtual environments for security.

Improved Hardware Utilization

One of the biggest benefits of virtualization is improved hardware utilization. By allowing multiple virtual machines (VMs) to share the physical resources of a server, organizations can increase server utilization rates. This allows them to reduce the overall number of physical servers needed in the data center.

Using traditional non-virtualized servers, utilization rates tend to be very low – often only 10-15%. This is because each server is dedicated to a single workload or application. With virtualization, those workloads are consolidated onto fewer physical servers running multiple VMs. This allows utilization rates of 70% or higher on those hosts.

By reducing the number of underutilized servers, organizations lower capital expenses associated with constantly purchasing new hardware to keep up with demand. Virtualization allows the existing infrastructure to support more workloads without immediately requiring new servers.

In addition, the ability to dynamically allocate resources to VMs based on real-time needs prevents overprovisioning. Organizations only need enough physical capacity for peak demand across all VMs rather than each individual VM.

Cost Savings

One of the biggest benefits of virtualization is cost savings by reducing hardware and facility costs. By deploying software-based virtual machines, organizations can dramatically reduce the number of physical servers and other infrastructure in their data centers.

According to Stratus Innovations, virtualization allows companies to consolidate multiple underutilized physical servers onto fewer virtual machines running on high-powered servers. This consolidation means purchasing less hardware like servers, storage, and networking equipment. Less hardware means savings on electricity, climate control, storage space, and all the other costs of maintaining physical servers.

Since virtual machines share hardware resources dynamically, workloads can be consolidated more efficiently. Liquid Web states virtualization can reduce data center server footprints by up to 75%. With fewer servers consuming energy and square footage, organizations can realize substantial cost reductions in their data centers.

Faster Provisioning

One of the key benefits of virtualization is the ability to rapidly provision new virtual machines (VMs) as needed. As noted by VMware, “Fast provisioning saves time by using linked clones for virtual machine (VM) provisioning operations.”1 With virtualization, new VMs can be quickly spun up from templates rather than having to manually configure new physical servers. This enables organizations to meet sudden spikes in computing demands or quickly deploy new applications and services.

By eliminating the time-consuming tasks involved in procuring, installing, and configuring new hardware, virtualization allows IT teams to rapidly deploy VMs within minutes. This agility is critical for modern data centers that need to dynamically scale computing resources up or down as needed. Overall, faster provisioning is one of the most significant advantages of virtualization for managing data centers and responding to changing business requirements.

Increased Scalability

One of the key benefits of virtualization is increased scalability. With physical servers, scaling capacity requires purchasing new hardware which can be costly and time consuming. With virtualization, it’s easy to add more resources like CPU, memory, and storage to virtual machines as needed. If an application experiences a spike in traffic, additional resources can be allocated to the VM immediately.

Virtualization also allows for easy horizontal scaling by simply adding more VMs. If the existing VMs can’t handle the increased workloads, new VMs can spin up on the existing physical servers in minutes. This level of flexibility and scalability is difficult to achieve with physical hardware alone. As noted in this article from Defth, “Scalability is one of the best aspects of switching to cloud computing. It can help you save money and physical space by optimizing systems.”

The scalability enabled by virtualization provides data centers the agility and flexibility to dynamically adjust resources based on application demands. This allows optimizing hardware utilization while still providing headroom to scale seamlessly during traffic spikes.

Improved Availability

Virtualization improves availability by allowing VMs to be live migrated between hosts with no downtime. VMware’s vSphere High Availability (HA) provides automatic failover protection against hardware and operating system outages ( If a host fails, the VMs on that host are automatically restarted on other hosts in the cluster.

vSphere HA works by pooling VMs and hosts into a cluster ( If a host fails, the VMs are restarted on the remaining hosts. This minimizes downtime during host maintenance or outages. With live migration and HA, virtualized environments can achieve 99.99% or higher availability.

Enhanced Security

Virtualization enhances security by isolating applications and data, reducing the attack surface, and containing threats. By running workloads in separate virtual machines, organizations can isolate high-risk applications and restrict lateral movement between virtual servers in case of a compromise ( This reduces the attack surface since there are fewer points of entry for threats. Additionally, virtualization provides an extra layer of abstraction between the hardware and software, making the environment more secure. If a virtual machine does get infected with malware, it can be quickly reverted to a clean snapshot to eliminate the threat, or isolated without impacting other systems, limiting the damage. Overall, virtualization allows organizations to implement strong segmentation, access controls, encryption and other security best practices to harden their infrastructure.

Simplified Maintenance

Virtualization simplifies maintenance of the data center environment in several key ways. With virtualization, patches and upgrades only need to be applied to the minimal hypervisor instead of having to be applied across multiple physical servers (IBM, 2021). This reduces the maintenance overhead substantially. Additionally, virtual machines can be easily rolled back to previous snapshots as needed, enabling quick recovery from any issues caused by patches or upgrades (IBM, 2021). Overall, virtualization allows IT teams to maintain and upgrade their infrastructure much more easily and with less disruption.

Better Disaster Recovery

Virtualization provides significant improvements for disaster recovery capabilities. With virtualization, entire virtual machines can be replicated offsite rather than just data backups. This provides more flexibility and faster disaster recovery. According to TechTarget, “Virtual disaster recovery provides ease, efficiency and speed compared to traditional disaster recovery methods” (

Since whole VMs are replicated, virtualization enables much faster recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO). RTO refers to the time to restore operations after a disaster, while RPO refers to how current/recent the restored data is. With physical servers, RTO and RPO can be lengthy due to hardware procurement and data restores. But with virtualization, VMs can be spun up in minutes from offsite replicas with near zero data loss. This drastically improves business resilience in the event of outages or disasters.


In summary, virtualization provides numerous important benefits for modern data centers. By enabling multiple virtual servers to run on a single physical server, virtualization improves hardware utilization and provides significant cost savings on equipment. It also allows for much faster provisioning of new servers, increased scalability to handle changing demands, and improved availability through features like live migration. Virtualization enhances security by isolating workloads and enables easier disaster recovery through portable virtual machines. It also simplifies maintenance since firmware and OS upgrades can be done on virtual servers without downtime.

Virtualization has become an essential enabling technology for data centers to efficiently handle the demands of cloud computing, big data analytics, mobility and other modern workloads. Its adoption is predicted to continue growing as organizations seek to optimize their infrastructure. With capabilities like software-defined data centers and hyperconverged infrastructure, virtualization provides a strategic foundation for meeting future data center requirements.