I've heard a lot of not fully informed discussion recently about the effect of VMWare on server use.
VMWare provides "virtualization," that is, emulation of different operating environments on the same machine. An emulated environment generally runs much slower than the real thing.
Virtualization has no benefit in the case of a server that is running all the time. In fact, it would slow it down. Thus, for example, Google won't use virtualization to reduce the number of servers it uses (as someone on CNBC suggested today), because Google's servers already run all the time.
Virtualization is useful, for example, when you have one set of servers running an email system in a Linux environment all day and a different set of servers running transaction processing on a Windows system all night. With virtualization, you need only one set of servers. It can run the email system on Linux in the daytime and switch quickly to transaction processing on the Windows system at night.
Virtualization is also helpful in reducing the number of backup servers. If the accounting department has 20 backup servers, customer service has 20 more, and engineering has another 10, you can keep, say, 20 backup servers that can run in any of those environments.
I hope that helps.
-- Richard M. from California
Thanks Richard for these insights. It's a complicated topic and you've made it very understandable. Reader, in case you're wondering why I've posted this comment, Guy Adami often talks about EMC Corp and their VWware spin-off.
(Please note this information is strictly intended to satisfy your curiosity. Never buy or sell financial instruments of any kind without first consulting a professional.)
-- Lee Brodie
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