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2 Chapter1·AnIntroductiontoVirtualization Introduction Virtualization is one of those buzz words that has been gaining immense popularity with IT professionals and executives alike. Promising to reduce the ever-growing infrastructure inside current data center implementations, virtualization technologies have cropped up from dozens of software and hardware companies. But what exactly is it? Is it right for everyone? And how can it benefit your organization? Virtualization has actually been around more than three decades. Once only accessible by the large, rich, and prosperous enterprise, virtualization technologies are now available in every aspect of computing, including hardware, software, and communications, for a nominal cost. In many cases, the technology is freely available (thanks to open-source initiatives) or included for the price of products such as operating system software or storage hardware. Well suited for most inline business applications, virtualization technologies have gained in popularity and are in widespread use for all but the most demanding workloads. Understanding the technology and the workloads to be run in a virtual- ized environment is key to every administrator and systems architect who wishes to