What is server virtualization?
Server virtualization is the term used for the method of running multiple independent applications or operating systems on a single physical machine. It is used as a means of enhancing physical resources to maximize the investment in hardware, where the server administrator uses a software application to divide one physical server into multiple isolated virtual environments.
Server virtualization brings the possibility of sharing hardware between multiple server applications, with each application believing it is running on its own computer with no risk of one application causing another to fail. Disk intensive applications can be matched with CPU heavy ones in order to get the maximum out of each piece of server hardware.
Zetafax's fax virtualization software supports VMware (ESX and ESXi), which can be seen illustrated in the diagram to the right hand side. Zetafax also supports the vSphere Suite and Microsoft Hyper-V.
How fax virtualization works
In a virtualized environment, server applications and their virtualized operating systems access the underlying hardware through a virtualization layer. Communications hardware (such as a fax board) is typically not supported in this virtualized world, and so any server application that needs to use such hardware requires an alternative approach - this obstacle often results in fax servers being maintained separately from an organisation's virtualized environment. With Fax Over IP (FoIP) this is no longer necessary. Below is an example illustration on how FoIP works: