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Managing Physical vs. Virtual Servers

March 19th, 2013 Comments off

Although, the virtualization technology has got popular in the web hosting industry worldwide, however, most of the times the ins and outs of the virtualization are not properly understood.

Most of the people still don’t understand the differences between physical and virtual servers. Some common questions that arise were:

  • How the virtual servers would be managed?
  • How they would communicate on the network?

Surely, there are many differences between managing the physical versus virtual servers; however, the concept is the same. It doesn’t matter whether it is a physical or virtual server; you have to connect to the console in order to manage the servers.

In some cases, a virtual server is more efficient than a physical server. For example, if you wish to expand the RAM of a physical server, it becomes mandatory to bring down the whole server, tearing off the cover in order to add the RAM. However, with a virtual server, you just need to open the virtual machine (VM) properties and allocate the RAM as required without taking the whole server down and affecting the network uptime.

When it comes to the network communications, nearly every virtualization software offers two types of network communication, i.e., Bridged or NAT. According to VMware virtualization technology, in the bridged network type the VM emerges as it was a physical host on the network, whereas, with the NAT network type the VM hides behind the IP address of the host. However, other VM’s in the same NAT network has an ability to access it directly.

The bridged mode is most commonly used by administrators, where the virtual server gets an address based on the VLAN assignment, if any, for the virtual machines virtual network connection. In this case, the virtual server directly communicates with the network and traffic without the need to be routed by the virtual host, apart from passing it through the host NIC.

While under the NAT (Network Address Translation) mode, the VM can be assigned with a private IP that is created by the virtual host.

One thing is certain that with virtualization, things become easier to handle and manage.