In its quality of hosting partner for companies, Combell has experienced firsthand why the demand for virtualization keeps rising. In the Combell data centres, an average of only 7% of a non-virtualized server is used. We also observed that the machines keep on growing and that the present CPUs keep on increasing. Within a virtualized environment, you can use the available resources much more efficiently.
With a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor, you can simultaneously run several operating systems on one host. Virtualization allows you to make optimal use of your server farm. Instead of investing in a new server for each new application, you host the application on a virtual machine. That way, you can make optimal use of the available capacity. With virtualization, you can upgrade your environment until you are using the maximum capacity of the hardware. At the same time, you can expand your system without limits, by adding new virtual machines.
Moreover, virtualization offers the necessary guarantees on the level of availability. Within a virtualized environment, you can benefit from high availability. Combell offers that functionality by default on every server. At the same time, virtualization allows you to manage your server farm more flexibly. You can upgrade without downtime. Combell can take a snapshot of the virtual machines, e.g. when you wish to change your environment. If a problem occurs when doing so, the snapshot allows you to immediately go back to the old configuration. And there is more.
You can clone virtual servers, including all installed applications and configuration, so that you do not have to go through all the steps each time you install a new server. This way, you can install new servers in no time. Thanks to virtualization, you have a uniform hardware environment at your disposal. This allows for flawless migration between servers.
Combell supports the virtualization hypervisors from VMware, HyperV and XEN. In its quality of certified VMware partner and member of the VSPP (VMware Service Provider Program), Combell's preference goes to the technology and the management tools from VMware.
With its excellent controllability and vast array of tools, VMware has grown into the leading player on the market of virtualization solutions.
VMware can also pride itself on the longest experience. The best known advantages offered by VMware are e.g. the high availability functionality. If a virtual server fails, it is automatically restarted on another machine. With Vmotion, VMware also allows for live migration of servers, without any downtime whatsoever. With Dynamic Resource Scheduling, VMware offers optimal distribution of resources over the server farm. Combell chooses to use this functionality manually rather than automatically. Thanks to this controlled approach, we never lose grasp of the distribution of resources.
Combell has years of experience in using Windows technology. This provides us with the required expertise to offer Microsoft Hyper-V.
Hyper-V allows a more efficient use of available hardware, by consolidating several server tasks as separate virtual machines that run on a single physical machine. Furthermore, this approach makes it possible to run several operating systems - Windows, Linux and others - in parallel on a single server. An additional advantage of Hyper-V is that its use is included in the license fees of the operating system.
We also have the required experience to offer the Xen virtualization hypervisor. Xen is a virtual machine monitor that allows to simultaneously run several operating systems on the same hardware.
Since 2010, Xen is available as free open source software, under GNU General Public license. Xen offers secured isolation, efficient management of resources and migration of virtual machines without downtime. On older computer systems, you often need to adapt the operating systems in order for the machines to be able to run Xen, but the compatibility for user applications remains intact.