Virtualization is a powerful tool that allows developers and IT professionals to streamline software development, testing, and deployment within their enterprise.
Virtualization software abstracts the hardware layer of a server system so that multiple instances of operating systems can function independently, mimicking separate physical servers for key applications. Virtualization allows IT managers to realize the benefits of consolidation on applications which normally "demand their own servers."
Virtualization is a powerful tool that allows developers and IT professionals to streamline software development, testing, and deployment within their enterprise. With virtualization software you can run multiple x86 operating systems on a single computer. This gives you the ability to run Windows, Linux, or both on a single machine without having to re-boot each time you need to change operating systems.
Areas where we use virtualization heavily include:
creating simulated operating system environments to test the different combinations of migrations our products support
housing a variety of infrastructure components used by the product development team and the testing team
as the root infrastructure to build automation for product validation
as the basis for doing repeatable tests throughout a product cycle
as the basis for recreating customer scenario's when problems occur in the field
Vensoft® can step in with rapid testing solutions across virtual server environments in both Windows and Linux. We offer:
Compatibility testing with leading VM solutions
Interoperability testing in complex, multi-tier virtualized environments
Performance testing to compare different VM strategies against one another and against dedicated servers
Failover and disaster recovery testing on multi-node environments
Hardware to hardware performance comparisons in leading VM environments
Independent proof-of-concept testing
By using virtualization technology, you can install Linux, Sun, FreeBSD, and Windows operating systems all on a single computer. At this point, you can begin loading different browsers within each of these operating systems and start testing to make sure your corporate Web site works and that each browser in each platform can properly display it.
For example, you could load a virtual machine with Windows 2000 Professional and Internet Explorer 5 and load a virtual machine with SuSe Linux and Firefox and make sure your Website renders appropriately on both platforms right from your workstation PC. Prior to virtualization, you would need many different servers and workstations to create a proper test environment. By taking advantage of virtualization technology, all you need is one computer to handle all of your needs.
What virtualization software is available today? You have several options that a simple search engine can uncover. You can choose from a desktop line of virtualization products as well as an enterprise line of products. Regardless of the vendor, virtualization is hot and it is going to become more and more popular as awareness grows.
One of the most popular uses of virtualization is to create a multi-tiered configuration on a single desktop. In the past, you would have developers within an organization creating their code and testing it on a subset of Quality Assurance (QA) servers. This method often creates bottlenecks in your infrastructure. In addition to bottlenecks, there is the cost to constantly maintain a development set of servers.
By introducing virtualization on each developer's workstation, you now have the ability to create a multi-tier lab that consists of a Web server (Windows 2003 SP1 - IIS), database server (Windows 2003 SP1 -SQL Server 2000), and Workstation (Windows XP SP2) for code testing directly from one machine. Figure A. illustrates the above layout. This is just one example; a developer can choose to create any applicable multi-tiered configuration.
Cost—the important factor
Let's not forget about the single most important factor associated with the implementation of virtual machines—cost. By taking advantage of virtualization, you can reduce hardware costs by having multiple physical servers and desktop on fewer machines within your organization. For example if five developers are running server multi-tiered applications on a single computer, the company is saving money on the costs and administration of roughly 8-10 servers. By having fewer servers, you save money on electricity, air conditioning, maintenance, insurance, and leasing. Taken to a global scale, you can begin to see the bigger cost-saving picture.