Server virtualization is the means by which a network administrator hook bolt is able to "hide" the actual physical servers and network hardware (known as "masking") from the network users. The network users no longer see a particular server or drive on the network, instead they see a "virtual" environment which contains their applications and files.

The network administrator achieves this masking by using software which divides a physical server into multiple "virtual" environments which are also isolated from each other. These private environments are also known as Virtual Private Servers (VPS), but they are also known by a number of other names too - guests, containers, emulations and instances.Why should a business consider using server virtualization?

Server virtualization itself is part of an information technology development concerning servers and data storage. By using server virtualization your network will be able to respond to the demand placed upon by users rather than an always-on state. In plain English, you don't need so many servers in your network because the virtual servers are only created when users need them; when one user has finished, their VPS environment effectively disappears.

Using server virtualization, you can increase the efficiency of your network from around 20% to up to 80%.Fewer servers and the associated hardware (racking, hosting, power, routers, cabling etc) means reduced capital and operating cost and this is likely to be a highly significant reduction.Server virtualization also prevents what is known as "server sprawl", which is where new servers are added to host new applications when there is already spare capacity in the existing server farm.