There is a vast array of tangible benefits in migrating to a virtual environment. One of the key server benefits is allowing the infrastructure team to host the same application services with a smaller physical server footprint. But a word to the wise here, be wise about the application services you host on the same virtual server. There are some great best practices around virtual servers that will help you optimize your infrastructure footprint without inhibiting performance to the end-user. (i.e. don't put all of your database and heavy I/O servers on a single virtual server). And enjoy!
Aside from the reduction in server hardware to host the same applications, the virtualized world allows network engineers to dramatically change the way applications are architected. While some application services are delivered great from a centralized datacenter, there is some network application services like Active Directory, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), and file sharing that would benefit from a localized slave domain controller deployed on the edge. Couple this technology with WAN optimization and those applications will be blazing like white lightning.
This was first published in June 2009