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Industry consensus holds that once deployment and management costs are factored in, the typical enterprise spends US$10,000 to $15,000 per x86 server per year on a nonvirtualized computing configuration. Yet, even though IBM pioneered the technology in its System 360 and 370 mainframes in the 1960s and 1970s, the economics of PC-based computing architectures since the 1980s put large-scale virtualization on the back burner. However, as x86-based data centers grow ever larger, corporate IT managers are beginning to turn their attention back to the old idea of virtualization. Essentially, virtualization uses a virtual machine monitor or host called a hypervisor to enable multiple operating system instances to run on a single physical server. The hypervisor can run directly on a given server?s hardware platform, with the guest operating system running on a layer above the hypervisor. It can also run within an operating system, with the guest OS running on the third layer above the hardware.
virtual machines, storage management, operating systems

G. Goth, "Virtualization: Old Technology Offers Huge New Potential," in IEEE Distributed Systems Online, vol. 8, no. , pp. 3, 2007.
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