For web masters, and website owners, one of the biggest concern is that of security. While using a web service, there is always the danger that somebody else might be able to access their files. The traditional way to go around this problem is to have a dedicated computer for the exclusive use of one company. However, placing this in the server farm has its disadvantages, including security, and maintenance during downtime. The use of a virtualization server goes around this problem because the users are isolated into individual virtual machines.
Within a virtualization server, virtual machine software are run for each user. One user would have one virtual machine. This hides the hardware, and the other users from each other. As far as using the computer is concerned, they are the only ones who can access the virtual computer. Each virtual machine has its own work space, memory and hard disk space. In most instances it also has its own dedicated processor. What is important is that other users cannot access somebody else’s virtual machine.
What a Virtualization Server Does?
The concept of a virtual machine was first implemented in mainframes, where users can open up a virtual machine and work on the computer as if they were the only ones using it. The other way of using the computer at the time was with batch processing using tape drives, scheduled time sharing and punch cards. The rest of the mainframe would be running other processes, but the virtual machine would isolate the user in his own work space.
Nowadays, large mainframes are no longer used in web hosting services. However, the current crop of servers which use multiple processors are very powerful and can serve hundreds of web pages concurrently. Alternatively, these servers can be segmented into different virtual machines where users can run their own computer software. The virtual machines work in the same way as real computers. Each instance of a virtual machine runs its own operating system, and the user can install their own.
The virtualization server runs all these virtual machines as processes. Each of the VMs have their dedicated storage, memory and processor. Within each virtual machine, the user can do anything he wants without any memory or storage overlap. The server is still maintained by the hosting provider, and the users do not have to worry about any downtime. The hosting company also ensures that there is practically no downtime for their customers. In case the server encounters any problems, the virtual private servers can be transferred on another server without any problem.
Today’s Servers typically use 32-core server processors, with 128GB or RAM. These usually have more than 3 TB or storage space on a RAID setup. For virtualization servers, the hard disks usually have their own controllers and are run separately from the server. This allows for hard disk swap when there is a hard disk failure. It also allows the data to be plugged in to a different server when needed.