Virtualisation dates back to the 1960s and is the process of building something virtually (for example, a server or a network) instead of physically developing something.
With virtualisation software, it is possible to run several OSs and applications on one given server, instead of using several servers for the same effect.
This has led to a reduction of the amount of servers in the data centre industry, saving space, for example. It also benefits companies – colocators, data centre providers, web services providers – in terms of reducing the amount of energy needed to power the server and reducing resources wastage.
In addition, virtualisation helps to increase agility, productivity, responsiveness, flexibility and scalability.
The main areas where virtualisation has become a de facto trend are server virtualisation, network virtualisation and storage virtualisation.