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Converting multi-purpose servers to virtual machines

Converting multi-purpose servers into virtual machines will help to enhance your data center's efficiency. Site expert Anil Desai tells you how in this expert response.

How should I convert multi-purpose servers to virtual machines?
One of the major benefits of virtualization technology is the ability to run multiple otherwise-incompatible workloads on the same physical server. The question here is whether you should split workloads apart and run each one in a separate VM (virtual machine), or if you should run them all in the same VM. From a resource standpoint, every new VM adds the overhead of running another OS (operating system) that will compete for resources with the other VMs. In the end, each VM is still accessing the same physical resources on the host server. If the host can't meet the requirements and you want to split resource usage across physical servers, then you'll need to split the applications and services into separate VMs. My recommendation is to combine workloads into a single VM wherever you can, and to split them apart whenever you must. Of course, there will be exceptions to this rule, and the best advice is to perform performance profiling of your applications and include some capacity planning estimates.
This was last published in May 2007

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