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Virtualization enjoys an ever-growing worldwide fan base, but it also has its opponents. Those who oppose server virtualization offer an array of "problems" with the technology. These 10 myths perpetuate suspicion and paranoia for those considering a switch to a virtual infrastructure. Some of these myths were virtualization truths a few short years ago but have since been put to rest by better technology, mature software and vendor competition.
1. Server Virtualization Is Too Expensive
Some virtualization solutions are more expensive than others, but some solutions, such as Red Hat's Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), have fixed, predictable subscription costs that take the uncertainty out of budget concerns and projections. Often, the primary goal of virtualization is to save money by leveraging high-end hardware using multiple virtual systems to spread the costs among those systems. Virtualization will save money, if executed correctly. Correct execution involves careful planning and prudent technology selection.
2. Virtual Machines are Less Secure
Security concerns abound when speaking of virtualization. The truth is virtualization is no more or less secure than other server-based technologies. It's certainly no less secure than physical server systems. Some negative rhetoric originates from virtualization's need for a host OS. Typical host OSes are bare bones Linux installations for which you have to manually set up Secure Shell (SSH). This means the host OS is very secure since it runs few, if any, standard network services.
3. Reported Consolidation Ratios are Bloated
This myth depends on the type of virtualization method you're discussing and what numbers you've had quoted to you. A realistic consolidation ratio of underutilized physical systems to appropriately sized and utilized virtual systems is 3-to-1. The 3-to-1 ratio refers to fully virtualized systems, not container-type virtualization where ratios can exceed 10-to-1. When considering virtualization, consolidation ratios are but one statistical pixel in virtualization's big picture.
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