For once and for all this is what VMware does... Definitions: Hardware = physical Server(s) actual equipment Software = Operating system and applicatons VMware = Virtual Operating Systems - Acts just like a real software but it is virtual. Traditional server deployment - install will be 1 OS and 1 purpose, say, Files - Now you have your File Server - $5,000
Now say I have 1 Server = approx. $5,000 & VMware = approx. $3000 - Total investment approx. $8,000.
Now you have 1 physical server and (depending on size and number of processors, RAM and Disk space) you now have the capability of say 4 servers. You simply create four virtual servers. So with 1 physical server I now have a File server, a Anti-virus server, a software distribution server and maybe even a print server.
All of these virtual servers are sharing the processing of the one physical server. Cost savings = approx. $12,000
Now this is where EMC comes in and increases the capability of VM ware (this is where it really gets cool). Add 1 more physical server and hook both servers to an EMC SAN (storage Area Network). This is where all your data of the server is stored instead of the physical server itself. NOW you have complete HIGH Availability with your systems. OK... so now you have 2 physical servers and a SAN with VMware. The virtual servers you are running are now load balanced for performance So if the resources are being used too much on one server it will automatically move a resource hogging server to the other.
If anything happens to the Hardware server ALL the servers will move over to the other functioning server.
It also creates backup virtual servers so if in the application or Operating Systems should fail you can create a new identical virtual server in 15 minutes instead of 3 hours. More money savings from downtime estimates.
Summary - VMware + EMC equals huge savings, increased uptime and ease of creating new servers.
Huge Savings - less physical servers, Less power consumption, Less Air conditioning, and less real esatate.
PS. No I do not work or am associated with EMC or VMware