Server virtualization 101: What small-business owners need to know

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Small businesses are always looking for ways to save money and improve efficiency. Server virtualization is one technology that can help small businesses do both.

In this blog post, we will walk you through what every small business needs to know about server virtualization and why you should consider virtualization for your business. 

What is server virtualization? 

Server virtualization is the process of creating multiple virtual servers, with their own operating systems and applications, from a single physical server. Virtual servers enable companies to create virtual machines (VM), which are isolated from each other and run independently. VMs can be configured with different amounts of memory, CPU, and storage resources, depending on the needs of the application. The hypervisor is responsible for managing the VMs and ensuring that they all run smoothly. It also provides a common interface for users to access the VMs.

What are the benefits of server virtualization?

There are plenty of benefits that come with server virtualization. 

Cost savings 

As your business grows, managing and maintaining the expanding IT infrastructure and hardware can become expensive, particularly if you plan to scale your business in the future. Physical servers often fail to reach their full potential in businesses and end up being unnecessary expenses.

By switching to server virtualization, your business deals with less demanding operating systems and reduces its reliance on hardware costs significantly. This simplified approach enables businesses to operate efficiently and save money, even during periods of growth.

Efficient resourcing 

Physical servers can be an unwanted expense and huge waste for a small business, especially if they become unnecessary down the track. The processing power needed for a virtual server is comparably much less than the overall energy and time costs of operating a physical data server. This efficiency ensures that your small business optimizes its resources, minimizing wastage.

Business scalability 

A virtual server boosts storage capacity and simplifies business management. It provides a flexible and scalable digital environment that can be easily updated or relocated. As your business grows, virtualization enables you to leverage cloud services, enhancing network capabilities and providing the means to scale your business effectively in the future.

What are the different types of server virtualization?

There are three main types of server virtualization: full virtualization, paravirtualization, and operating system-level virtualization.

Full virtualization 

Full virtualization allows multiple operating systems (OS) to run on the same physical server, each with its own virtual machine. VMs are isolated from each other and run independently. This means that each VM can have its own OS, applications, and data. Full virtualization does not require the operating systems to be modified, so they can run at full speed. This makes full virtualization a good choice for businesses that need to run a variety of operating systems on the same physical server.


In paravirtualization, the guest OS is aware of the hypervisor and can communicate with it directly using special instructions called hypercalls. This allows the hypervisor to manage the guest OS more efficiently and provides better performance than full virtualization.

Paravirtualization is not as widely supported as full virtualization, but it can be a good choice for businesses that need to run a specific operating system that is not compatible with full virtualization.

OS-level virtualization 

Operating system-level virtualization, also known as container virtualization, allows multiple isolated instances of an operating system to run on a single physical server. It does not require a hypervisor and instead uses the kernel of the host operating system to create and manage containers. This approach to virtualization brings remarkable efficiency and resource optimization to the table. Since containers share the same OS kernel as the host, they have minimal overhead, resulting in faster startup times and lower memory consumption compared to traditional virtual machines.

Which type of virtualization is right for your business?

Choosing the right virtualization for your business relies on your specific needs. Do you need the most efficient virtualization solution? If so, full virtualization is the way to go. If you’re looking for a more flexible option, paravirtualization may be a better fit. But if you want an easy-to-set-up and manage solution, OS-level virtualization is a good choice.
For reliable virtualization solutions, turn to the IT experts of SpectrumWise. We’ll help you find and implement the best virtualization solution for your business.Get in touch with our experts today.


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