Virtualization

Definition

Virtualization consists in operating a machine called "virtual" (server or client) on a physical machine (called the "host"). Multiple virtual machines can operate simultaneously on a single or a multiple of physical machines. They are called "Virtual Private Servers" (abbreviated "VPS") or "Virtual Environments" (abbreviated "VE"). In practice, this allows you to run multiple operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.) on the same host with its own operating system.

Advantage

Workstation

Windows XP, Mac OS X and Haiku virtualized under GNU/Linux

Typical use in virtualizing a workstation is the ability to simulate different operating system than the host system, either for development for the purpose of testing an application in other environments, or in common use in order to allow the operation of an application not available on the host operating system.

Server

Concerning the servers, virtualization allows you to share unused resources of a host system (often under-exploited for equivalent energy use), isolate on a same host different services that should not cohabit for security or stability reasons, facilitate platforms resizing simply by moving a virtual server from one host to another, in short, significantly reduce costs of both material and human.

In brief

The benefits of virtualization versus traditional infrastructure are the following:

  • Resource optimization
    • Load balancing based on the server park
  • Release and migration simplified
    • The installation from pre-production to delivery
  • Reduce hardware costs by pooling
    • Energy, maintenance, compatibility
  • Securing and isolating in the network
    • Host system invisible to the attacker
  • Transparent resizing
    • Moving hotswap a virtual server on a new physical machine

Our skills

We use three virtualization techniques we deploy according to the specificities and needs of each of our customers:

  • Kernel isolation (OpenVZ)
    • + Low cost method
    • + High performance through direct access to the resources of the host system
    • - Despite its name, the isolation is not complete
  • Paravirtualization (Xen or KVM)
    • + The most efficient method
    • - More constraining and expensive
  • Full virtualization (VirtualBox or VMware)
    • + Perfect isolation and compatibility through hardware emulation
    • - Lower performance compared to the two previous methods
    • - Cost of the license in the case of VMware

These different virtualization techniques, supplemented by our clustering solutions, will ensure an availability rate of almost 100% of the services provided by your server farm and will oversimplifies the evolution of your needs in terms of computing power or storage of your data.


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