This eBook is designed to educate the readers about the benefits of server consolidation using virtualization technologies. The first chapters discuss the business benefits of server consolidation. The last chapters show the reader how to plan and implement a basic server consolidation strategy using Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2.


One of the biggest problems that organizations face today is the proliferation of single-purpose servers, otherwise known as "server sprawl." Server sprawl isn't typically the result of purposeful planning. Instead, it usually occurs when an organization attempts to fulfill specific -- and many times isolated -- business needs. For example, the human resources department may want a SharePoint server to make it easier for staff members to share documents.


Or the sales team may want to implement a database server for a packaged CRM application that they need to manage their business relationships. In both cases, the departments can justify the purchase by demonstrating a return on investment that includes the cost of new hardware, along with any required software. However, as this practice continues during the normal business operations, a multitude of servers begins to appear throughout the organization. Sometimes these servers are in the data center and other times they are dispersed throughout the company.


Dealing with multiple servers has become the de facto standard for today's IT personnel. Consolidating those servers to reduce costs and achieve better operating efficiencies is a high priority for IT today.