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WHITE PAPER

WHY READ THIS WHITE PAPER?

Virtualization is used for a variety of applications, including email servers, security servers, database servers and many other elements of the IT infrastructure in companies large and small. Virtualization is becoming more widely used because it can lower the cost and increase the flexibility of IT infrastructure, and it is a key component in the “greening” of IT because of its ability to reduce server power consumption.

However, the problem of fragmentation—a phenom- enon that dramatically reduces system perfor- mance—is compounded in virtual environments. This is because not only can virtual storage become fragmented, but the underlying physical storage can become fragmented as well. The result is an even greater problem than will be experienced in physical infrastructures: disk I/O is increased, access to systems is slower, wear-and-tear on disk hardware gets worse, and costs are driven up.

Addressing this problem is a critical best practice not only in physical environments, but also in virtual environments.

Conventional,

Virtual servers

A combination of

physical servers

physical and

virtual servers

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

Desirability of Various Models for Managing E-mail Servers

60%

50%

58%

% Responding Desirable or Extremely Desirable

76%

80%

70%

70%

Fragmentation cannot be successfully eliminated in virtualized environments without a specialized approach. And this approach is crucial if organizations are to realize the benefits of virtualization they hope to achieve.

About This White Paper This white paper, sponsored by Diskeeper, discusses the growing market for virtualization and the problem of fragmentation. It also discusses the importance of defragmentation in virtual environments, and it provides a brief overview of the company’s offerings in this area.

WHY IS VIRTUALIZATION IMPORTANT?

Virtualization involves disengaging an application or service from the physical infrastructure required to make that service available. Common examples of virtualization include running Windows on a Mac, running Linux on a Windows platform, virtual memory that uses disk space instead of physical RAM (when the latter is unavailable for specific operating system functions or applica- tions), and running multiple instances of an email server on a single hardware platform.

Organizations are increasingly interested in using virtualization because of its many benefits:

  • Reduces hardware and related costs by allowing multiple servers to run on the same hardware platform. For example, an email or unified communications server, a security server

and a mobile messaging server could all run on the same physical server, significantly reducing hardware requirements and costs, IT labor requirements and power consumption.

  • Makes it much easier and faster to add additional capacity to the existing infrastructure.

  • Makes it easier and more affordable to add redundant capacity to the infrastructure, improving disaster recovery and business continuity.

  • IT maintenance tasks are easier and require fewer person-

hours for a given environment.

  • Migration from one server platform to another is simpler.

While virtualization has been in use for 40+ years, starting first in mainframe environments, it has found renewed interest in recent years because:

  • Newer offerings from leading vendors (including VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and others) make virtualization easier and more reliable.

  • In most organizations there is sufficient excess computing capacity platforms, due in large part to growing use of multi-core processors that can permit the application of virtual servers for a variety of server functions.

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