Brian Fields, Channel Manager of Stratus Technologies, provided an informative and well-paced presentation on server virtualization at the September Philadelphia Section meeting. Fields notes that server virtualization is being done in both the enterprise and in manufacturing — process and discrete. The benefits of server consolidation and virtualization are being achieved in both environments.
About 25 attended the meeting, which was held at Rumsey Electric in Conchohocken.
Instead of, say, having six servers doing six different functions, you can consolidate the six into one piece of hardware, says Fields. This can happen even if the six are running different operating systems or versions. Free software makes this possible.
Hypervisor software from leading companies such as VMware (vSphere / ESXi) and Microsoft (Hyper-V) manages the server hardware. Virtual machines running operating systems and applications run independently on top of the hypervisor.
Of course the single hardware server has to have sufficient cores and memory to run the virtual servers without degradation of performance.
Fields says that the concept applies to workstations as well. By downloading Microsoft Hyper-V to your PC, you can run Windows XP and Windows 10 on the same machine. Fields says that he does just that on his own computer.
“This allows me to operate my old scanner, which has drivers only for XP,” he says.