In computing, a virtualization business is a company that provides virtual server resources and services to businesses which have chosen to outsource some or all of their computing requirements. These types of businesses are also often called virtualization service providers. The services provided by a virtualization business may range from the simple provision of web services on a shared server, all the way through to multi-server data center services with complex application virtualization. Typically, a client organization making use of the services offered by a virtualization business is looking to make significant cost savings due to being able to pay for the use and support of a portion of a server rather than having to run one, or many actual hardware servers, on their own premises.
Server virtualization is made possible by software that allows multiple operating systems to be installed on a single piece of hardware. The virtualization process thus enables a single actual server to be effectively divided up into many different virtual servers, each of which appears from a software perspective to be an isolated system. Computer virtualization may, in turn, be used to run different types of operating systems on a single machine, or equally to run multiple copies of the same operating system, as discrete systems.
Virtualization support offered by a virtualization business is often designed to be totally transparent to the client organization. Members of staff at the client organization have the ability to log into a network, and seamlessly access all the information technology applications they require. When any kind of support is required, a member of staff would typically telephone a support helpline directly at the virtualization business offices. As the virtualization business hosts, the total information technology solution for the client organization, support in a virtual environment can usually be provided very efficiently and quickly.
The virtualization tools offered by a virtualization business may include the provision of a complete network, including all user and password access functionality. A variety of possible operating systems is typically offered to client organizations. Specialist virtualization businesses also often offer a wide range of different software applications, along with seamless support services. A virtualization business that operates in a narrow sphere of expertise, on the other hand, might only offer a very specific set of virtualization services. Web hosting companies, for example, sometimes use virtual servers to host web sites for many different client organizations on a relatively small number of hardware devices, but they may offer only a limited variety of applications on a single specified operating system.