Optimizing the Virtual Data Center

The promise of virtual machines is that operators don’t need to worry about where their servers are. You can have one big server running on five physical computers, or a hundred tiny servers running on one physical machine. This makes it easy to adjust capacity; it also means creating a new server is as simple as dragging and dropping.

But while data center operators might not care where their servers are, the servers do. Today’s data centers are based on Web Services and SOA architectures. Instead of one big mainframe, we have many small servers all talking to one another.

In a traditional data center, machine-to-machine conversations like these can take milliseconds, resulting in slow applications. But if chatty virtual servers live on the same physical machine, they can communicate in microseconds.

Done right, putting virtual servers that need to talk together on the same physical machine could make applications a thousand times faster.

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