Last Updated: February 2, 2023
In today’s world, we hear all kinds of tech terms like cloud, servers, VPS, and so on. But have you ever wondered, what is a virtual server?
If you want to learn more about server virtualization and other specifics related to this topic, read on to find out all you need to know.
What Is a Virtual Server?
A virtual server’s location is in a big offsite data center, and its software and hardware resources are shared among various users. A virtual server converts one hard physical server into numerous virtual units, and each of them can run its own operating system.
These servers offer a great way to utilize processing capacity and let multiple users split the cost of the equipment.
Before server virtualization came into the picture, servers were physically using only a fraction of their processing power, and the networks were very perplexing and inefficient. When virtual servers started being produced for mass consumption, they enlarged their efficiency, agility, responsiveness and dramatically increased the server’s utilization from 20% to ca. 80%.
Why Use Them?
Most people decide to use them because virtual servers are very cost-efficient.
With server virtualization, people can save money, since the hardware is less expensive and the costs for hardware management are also decreased.
Setting up virtual servers is considered an eco-friendly strategy, and they are suitable for businesses or private individuals who want affordable hosting, increased security, and total control over their servers.
On the downside, resource-hogging can be a potential problem when using virtual servers. Virtualization can lead to resource overuse, and as a consequence, to performance issues. This can be avoided with appropriate implementation.
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Virtual Server vs Physical Server
Let’s look at the differences between virtual and physical servers:
The physical server is practically a computer server, with a specific server deputed to a single user. Multiple users cannot share the resources of the physical server. Every physical server has its own processor, LAN connection, hard drive, memory, and operating system which runs apps and programs.
What does a physical server look like? These servers are bulky in size, because of the powerful processors and other components that they contain. The upside is that your company’s IT team has full access to its resources all the time, and they can customize it to your business’s needs. It’s more expensive to buy, maintain, or replace, however, and the users can quickly reach the maximum workload, without a scaling option.
A virtual server by definition is practical software used as emulation of a hard or physical computer. Virtual servers function in multi-tenant conditions, which means that multiple virtual memory systems (VMs) function at the same time on the same physical hardware infrastructures. In this respect, the operation resources of the server are made virtual and shared within all virtual systems functioning on it. The architecture that composes a virtual server is a bit more complicated than that of a physical one, and all this starts with installing a hypervisor like Hyper-V, VMware, or vSphere, over the physical hardware.
Setting up virtual servers, you have fewer upfront costs because you don’t buy the equipment, and you can easily approach experts for backing on configuration, maintenance, and setup. On the flip side, you are no longer in full control of your physical server and of the apps running on it, with possible troubles with application compatibility.
What Is Server Virtualization?
The process of reshaping one server into several small and remote virtual servers is called server virtualization. This procedure doesn’t require you to add new servers, instead, the virtualization hardware or software splits the existing server into several virtual isolated partitions. Every one of these servers can run independently.
Server virtualization is maybe the best way of managing your data today, providing great functionality at a lower price.
So, how to virtualize a server? We start with the hypervisor which is utilized to make and manage VMs, while they have their virtual processing resources. Next, you have the option to install multiple OS guest server apps over the virtual hardware. Consequently, virtual servers let you run multiple operating systems (OS) as well as apps, based on the shared physical drive, which is much more cost-effective than a physical server.
The isolation, combined with attentive resource control, helps the hypervisor to make and manage numerous VMs on one physical device at the same time. Each VM can act as a completely functional computer. When the VM is made, it needs a complete set of programs that need to be installed, like an OS, library, drivers, and enterprise application.
Some of the reasons to set up a virtual server are: minimizing downtime, implementing redundancy without buying unnecessary hardware, easy server migration to a new environment, resource optimization, web development, and web design because the VM turns off very easily.
Forms of Virtualization
For your clearer understanding, I’ll differentiate the different forms of virtualization:
Emulation is a bit different from when you set up a virtual server, but we’ll get to that a bit later. Emulation is a way of designing an environment that mimics the assets of one system on another. Emulators imitate the values and technology of one processor to work on another platform with efficiency. In addition, it is an exceptional way to run an operating system or software on another system.
Emulation of hardware has a few more benefits over building a VM server, such as:
- it is very inexpensive
- gives you easy access
- makes it simple to run programs that have become obsolete on other systems
An emulator transforms the CPU architecture directives and makes it work hassle-free. Emulation platforms are easily accessible by anyone, and they can be organized remotely if you have remote file access.
These are some differences between setting up a virtual server and hardware emulation:
- The emulation procedures require a so-called “software bridge”, while in virtualization there is the direct hardware access option.
- A virtual machine works with a direct code with a dissimilar suite of domains.
- Emulation’s source code needs to be translated to be readable for the host’s system.
- Emulators are slower compared to virtual servers, and unlike VMs, they don’t rely on the CPU.
- VMs use the central system, and their resources are more complex than the emulator and provide a better recovery program and backup solutions.
What is an OS server virtualization? OS-level virtualization stands for server virtualization technology, which entails the designing of standard operating systems (OS) to run various applications managed by different users on one computer at the same time. The operating systems don’t interfere with each other, although they are on the same PC.
The OS is adjusted in this type of virtualization, in order to function like multiple different individual systems. This virtual sphere accepts instructions from different users running various apps on the same machine. Their requests are managed independently by the virtual operating system.
Benefits of OS Server Virtualization Over VMs
In the customary VM method, every partition incorporates its own client’s (guest) operating system, that communicates with the physical equipment, through a VMM (virtual machine monitor). The entire system slows down proportionately with the VM when it’s running at the same time. Nonetheless, the containers directly communicate with the hosting OS, the same as in a physical computer, which means CPU and RAM rotations are minimized. Based on the proportions of the app and needed components in every container, multiple containers can operate in a single machine.
This is a technique of virtualization that provides interconnection with virtual machines, which are similar to their basic hardware. With paravirtualization, the guest OS is ported before the virtual machine installation because an unmodified guest operating system cannot work on top of a virtual machine monitor.
Paravirtualization authorizes a few different operating systems to work on one suit of hardware by successfully utilizing resources like memory or processing power. The OS in paravirtualization is adapted to run on a virtual machine.
Building a virtual machine server with paravirtualization has the purpose of adjusting the operating system to reduce the implementation time needed for conducting the operations that are difficult to carry out in a virtual environment.
Having many performance advantages, paravirtualization is used for:
- Accident recovery
- Relocating data from system to system
- Space management
- Partitioning expansion environments from system testing
|Did you know: VPS hosting guarantees enhanced security because the OS isn’t shared with anybody except you. Nobody else except you can approach the files, data, and information which makes the server and the web page increasingly secure.|
|Building a virtual machine server means that your physical server is split and can be utilized by multiple users.|
|The physical server is an actual device, while virtual servers are made by virtually splitting physical servers.|
|There are different forms of virtualization: hardware emulation, OS virtualization, and paravirtualization.|
|A hypervisor, a.k.a. a virtual machine monitor or VMM, is software that makes and runs virtual machines or (VMs).|
How to Create a Virtual Server?
There is a way to create a virtual server, and I’ll explain it in depth by giving you step-by-step instructions:
- Go to Control Panel > Cloud > Virtual Servers and click the Plus button, or choose To create Virtual Server, which is located at the bottom of the screen. With this action, you start a VS creation wizard.
- Follow the prompts of the wizard. Each of the steps is detailed in the correlated sections.
- Choose the Create Virtual Server button, and start creating. Next, you’ll see the virtual server details.
Step 1 – Virtual Server (VS) Cloud Locations:
In order to choose the cloud location, choose the country where the cloud is located from the menu.
From the drop-down menu, specify the city. Press Next to continue to the further step of the wizard, which is specifying the VS templates.
Step 2 – Templates
To pick a template, choose the required icon on the right (FreeBSD, Windows, etc.) to enlarge the list of templates. Each template has the following structure:
- Label of the template
- Min required memory to create a VS from the template
- Min required disk size to create a VS from the template
- Type of virtualization
- Price per hour
Select the template, and choose Next.
Step 3 – Virtual Server Properties
The next step, if you’re still wondering how to make a virtual server, is choosing your Virtual Server Properties, such as computer resources, password, label, etc. If you want to make a VS, you have to specify the needed parameters and set it up later.
Define the following properties for the virtual server:
- Label, which is the first parameter.
- Name of the host or (hostname) of the virtual server, which should consist of letters (A-Z), digits (0-9), and a dash (-). The hostname should be between 1 and 15 characters.
- Next comes the Domain. The default value is named local domain, but you should specify yours. Windows users are excluded from this parameter.
- Time zone is the next parameter, applicable only for Windows KVM virtual servers.
- Highly secured password for the VS. It can include 6-99 characters, letters (A-Z), digits [(0-9), a dash (-), or ( _ ).
- Password confirmation – repeat it to confirm.
- Password encryption – move the Encrypt Password slider to the right, then write the encryption key in the empty field.
- Choose Next to proceed with the next step to define the VS resources in the wizard.
Step 4 – Resources
Setting up a virtual server requires setting the server’s resources, such as network configuration, disk size, etc.:
- RAM – set the amount of the VS’s RAM.
- CPU cores – adjust the amount of the VS’s CPU cores. This parameter sets CPU by default, for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) Compute resources.
- CPU Priority – choose the virtual server’s CPU priority.
- CPU Sockets – adjust how many sockets the CPU cores should have.
- Data Store Zone – set the data store zone for the VS’s primary disk.
- Primary disk size – adjust the primary disk size.
- Swap disk – choose a Data Store Zone for the VS’s swap disk, the swap disk size, and select the tick box to disable a swap disk.
Step 5 – Confirmation
Configuring the automation settings is the last confirming step and the last thing to keep in mind when you wonder how to create a virtual server.
- Slide the Enable Automated Backup slider to the right if you want an automatic backup for the VS.
- Slide the Build Virtual Server slider to the right if you want to build the system VS automatically.
- Slide the Boot Virtual Server slider to the right if you want automatic VS startup.
- Slide the Enable Autoscale slider to the right to set VS autoscaling.
This is the final step, so now you have successfully created a virtual server.
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Now that your questions on what is a virtual server, how it differs from a physical one, and most importantly, how to create one, have been answered, do you need a virtual server? It certainly can make a significant difference. Using a virtual server can be much more efficient and provide you with an overall better experience.
Multiple servers linked to the internet can be rented as part of a software or application service. A cloud server runs in a cloud computing environment, unlike a physical server. It’s created and hosted in a cloud and can be accessed remotely.
A virtual server enhances and re-creates the capabilities of a physical server. It is created so the users can partition space on the physical server and make the best of it. Server virtualization makes resource allocation and adaptation to dynamic workloads much simpler.
Physical servers are powerful data centers, but they are becoming a thing of the past. There’s a growing demand for cloud-oriented, innovative servers which are connected to the internet and easily accessible.
What is a virtual server and what does it do? A virtual server transforms one physical server into more virtual machines, while each of them can run their own operating system. Unlike a dedicated server, the virtual server splits shares of its software and hardware resources, each working with its own operating system.