When you hear people talk about virtualization, they’re usually referring to server virtualization, which means a combination of software and hardware engineering that creates Virtual Machines (VMs) – an abstraction of the computer hardware that allows a single machine to act as if it were many machines. Each virtual machine can interact independently with other devices, applications, data and users as though it were a separate physical resource/unit. Why is Virtualization used? Virtualization is being used by a growing number of organizations to reduce power consumption and air conditioning needs and trim the building space and land requirements that have always been associated with server farm growth. Virtualization also provides high availability for critical applications and streamlines application deployment and migrations. Virtualization can also simplify IT operations and allow IT organizations to respond faster to changing business demands. Virtualization may not be a magic bullet for everything. While many solutions are great candidates for running virtually, applications that need a lot of memory, processing power or input/output may be best left on a dedicated server. For all of the upsides of virtualization isn’t magic, it can introduce some new challenges as well for firms to have to face. But in most cases, the pro’s of cost and efficiency advantages will outweigh most if not all the cons and virtualization will continue to grow and gain popularity in today’s world.