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Adapting Virtualization to Clients

Microsoft provides full-fledged virtualization solutions for all customer types and sizes. Windows Server 2012 and System Center provide a highly scalable and reliable virtualization infrastructure for enterprises and medium-sized businesses and best-in-class server virtualization for branch offices and small businesses.

Because System Center can manage both Hyper-V and ESX hosts, Microsoft virtualization benefits both clients who are new to virtualization as well as those who are just starting out.

Virtualization is one of the most effective methods to save costs, increase availability and improve agility within your customer’s infrastructure. Benefits of virtualization include the ability to:

Consolidate Systems, Workloads and Operating Environments

  • Multiple workloads and operating systems can be combined onto one physical server, reducing the costs of hardware and operations.
  • New versions of software can be tested on the hardware that they will later use in production mode without affecting production workloads.
  • Virtual systems can be used as low-cost test systems without jeopardizing production workloads.
  • Multiple operating system types and releases can run on a single system. Each virtual system can run the operating system that best matches its application or user requirements.

Optimize Use of Resources

  • Hypervisors can achieve high resource use by dynamically assigning virtual resources (such as processors and memory) to physical resources through mechanisms such as dispatching and paging. The virtual resources that they provide can exceed the physical system resources in quantity and functionality.
  • Virtualization allows you to dynamically share physical resources and resource pools, providing higher resource use, especially for variable workloads whose average needs are much less than an entire dedicated resource.
  • Different workloads tend to show peak resource use at different times of the day and week, so implementing multiple workloads in the same physical server can improve system use, price and performance.

Improve It Flexibility and Responsiveness

  • Service providers can create one virtual system or clone many virtual systems on demand, achieving dynamic resource provisioning.
  • Virtual systems with variable resources enable the manual or automated management of workload resources.

From One to Many: Server Virtualization with Hyper-V

While the term Virtualization is relatively new, the concept is not. Mainframe computers have operated with simultaneous operating systems since the early 1970s. But virtualization rapidly grew from a niche technology used for labs and development work to a core IT infrastructure technology.

IT organizations continue working to solve the problems created by an explosion in the scope and complexity of IT platforms adopted in the 1990s. The migration of application architectures to thin-client, multi-tier architectures, the introduction of multiple generations of Windows servers, and the rapid growth of Linux have swept across IT organizations in successive waves. The result is explosive growth in server counts, network complexity and storage volumes throughout the IT world.

Server virtualization makes complete sense in today’s complex IT environments. Dividing physical servers into virtual servers can help tame unruly IT infrastructures and control IT expenditures, while driving strategic business value from IT and increasing IT innovation. Virtualization paves the way for cloud-based services and infrastructures of future datacenters.

Adapting to Virtualization

With today’s complex IT environments, physical servers can easily max out a datacenter’s capacity, making them unwieldy, costly and inefficient. Challenges include:

  • Rising datacenter costs and battered bottom lines.
    Bringing additional physical servers online each time a new application is deployed adds up, increasing capital expenditures. Providing more physical space—and adding to power and cooling requirements as a result—increases operating expenses.
  • Inefficient infrastructures and routine maintenance tasks.
    Adding new applications and servers to an already heterogeneous mix of operating systems, hardware and software requires IT teams to spend more time on routine maintenance tasks and less time on more strategic and innovative IT projects.
  • Under-utilized servers and technology limitations.
    Typical CPU utilization rates run about 10 to 20 percent, leaving most servers sitting unused much of the time. And technology limitations make it nearly impossible to improve those rates.
  • Decreased performance and availability.
    System downtime does nothing for SLA goals. Yet downtime for deployment, updating, patching and backups of physical servers is inevitable. While some of these can be completed in the background, performance is almost always sacrificed and users quickly become frustrated.

To fully realize the value of infrastructure and investments, and establish IT as a strategic business asset, organizations must assess infrastructure and platform levels across IT capabilities in order to deliver a dynamic IT environment. They must optimize their environments to reduce costs and complexity, quickly respond to change and increase innovation.

Solutions to Virtualization

Microsoft virtualization solutions help your customers build optimized, dynamic IT infrastructures and platforms that connect people, information and business processes that securely, quickly and cost-effectively adapt to changing business needs.

Server virtualization allows the user to dynamically partition a physical server into multiple virtual machines (VMs), which tell an operating system that the virtual machine is actual hardware. Many virtual machines can better maximize a single physical server’s potential — and provide a rapid response to shifting datacenter demands.

Instead of integrating costly and under-utilized servers, each dedicated to a specific application; server virtualization allows those workloads to be consolidated onto fewer, yet better-utilized machines.

Effective management is key to virtualization. As an organization’s computing environment becomes more virtualized, it also increases in complexity. Challenges arise as IT teams struggle to control their environment.

Ease of Virtualization: Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center

Hyper-V, Microsoft’s hypervisor-based server virtualization solution, allows the software layer to run directly on the physical system hardware for a high-performance virtualization platform. It can be delivered as either a role in Windows Server 2012 or as a free standalone product known as Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012. Both are based on the same technology, use the same hypervisor, can join a cluster and perform Live Migration.

Hyper-V supports isolation in terms of a partition. While a virtualized partition does not have access to the physical processor, it has a virtual view of the processor and runs in Guest Virtual Address. The hypervisor handles the interrupts to the processor and redirects commands to the respective partition using a logical Synthetic Interrupt Controller (SynIC). Hyper-V can hardware accelerate the address translation between various Guest Virtual Address-spaces by using an IOMMU (I/O Memory Management Unit) which operates independent of the memory management hardware used by the CPU.

Along with Hyper-V, the Microsoft Systems Center family of systems management tools helps your customer keep tabs on their environment. Whether it’s hardware or software in the physical or virtual world, Systems Center efficiently monitors and manages the infrastructure to reduce costs and complexity.

Together, Hyper-V and Systems Center management solutions lay the groundwork for Server Virtualization 3.0, a fast-growing ecosystem that combines virtual machine software, virtual server management, server hardware, support services, professional services and external cloud services for the cloud-based datacenter of the future.

Instead of paying for many under-utilized servers, each dedicated to a specific workload, Microsoft server virtualization allows those workloads to be consolidated onto a smaller number of more fully-used machines. Microsoft Virtualization allows you to:

  • Unlock latent value in IT by enabling organizations to move and scale faster than competitors.
  • Reduce both capital and operating costs by leveraging virtualization for server consolidation and high availability.
  • Simplify management with one suite to manage physical and virtual machines, servers and clients, Hyper-V and ESX.

As one of today’s fast-growing small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), you know all too well the challenges of keeping pace with an increasingly complex IT environment while keeping costs low.

Each new server means more floor space and added power and cooling costs—which increases capital and operating expenditures. At the same time, servers are severely underutilized and your IT team can be overwhelmed by labor-intensive provisioning, patches and upgrades, disaster recovery and other management tasks.

Step Up to the Cloud for Greater Business Benefits

Fortunately, your IT challenges come at a time when the delivery of IT services is undergoing a transformation to cloud computing. It’s not happening overnight, but preparing yourself today for this new future brings powerful business benefits and opportunities.

Microsoft System Center 2012 helps you to start your journey to the private cloud from where you are today. It seamlessly integrates your existing private cloud resources—network, storage, and compute—with public cloud services that can be managed from a single management console. This simplified, easier-tomanage infrastructure reduces costs and increases business efficiency, so that you can respond more quickly—and profitably—to market conditions.

Turn a Complex Infrastructure into a Simplified Private Cloud

Turn a complex infrastructure into a simplified private cloud System Center 2012 helps you create an easily managed, streamlined private cloud just by integrating your existing IT infrastructure investments:

  • Centrally manage multiple hypervisors, including Windows ServerHyper-V, VMWare vSphere, and Citrix XenServer.
  • Monitor Windows Server, Sun Solaris, and various Linux and Unix distributions.
  • Integrate toolsets from HP, CA, BMC, EMC, and VMware into automated workflows.

With this affordable, more efficient private cloud, you can:

  • Pool physical and virtual resources and manage them from a single management console.
  • Build automated workflows for standard processes such as incident management, problem management, change management, and release management.
  • Let different departments or application owners request and consume capacity in self-service mode.

Keep Your Business Up and Running with Confidence

Applications power your business, so keeping them running is critical to keeping your business running. System Center 2012 lets you holistically manage your applications to maximize availability and uptime by helping you to:

  • Pinpoint the root cause of application issues with easy-to-use dashboards for faster discovery and resolution.
  • Use graphical reporting features to effectively track and communicate the status of your SLAs.
  • Automatically configure and deploy application services to the cloud, and reconfigure them across private and public clouds.
  • Speed provisioning of applications to the cloud via Server Application Virtualization (SAV), which removes application dependencies on specific infrastructure.
  • Simplify upgrades and maintenance with image-based configuration and management.

Enlightened I/O

Virtual Devices can take advantage of a Windows Server Virtualization feature, named Enlightened I/O, for storage, networking and graphics subsystems. Enlightened I/O is specialized virtualization-aware implementation of high level communication protocols like SCSI, which is designed to bypass any device’s emulation layer to take advantage of VMBus. This makes the communication more efficient, but also requires the guest OS to support Enlightened I/O. Windows, Windows Vista and SUSE Linux are currently the only operating systems that support Enlightened I/O, allowing them to run faster as guest operating systems under Hyper-V than other operating systems using slower emulated hardware.


For more information on Systems & Server Management, contact
Avnet’s Microsoft Team at or (800) 474-3044
or use the Quote Me form at the top of the page.

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License Type Part Number Part Description
VOLUME T9L-00247 System Center Std SNGL LicSAPk OLP NL 2Proc
VOLUME T6L-00206 System Center Datacenter SNGL LicSAPk OLP NL 2Proc
VOLUME MFF-00436 System Center Client Mgmt Ste SNGL LicSAPk OLP NL PerOSE
VOLUME MFF-00449 System Center Client Mgmt Ste SNGL LicSAPk OLP NL PerUsr
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Server Management Virtualization Hyper V System Center 2012