The recent explosion of virtualization technology coincides with the trend of consolidating systems on less, but more powerful hardware. With more robust hardware, consolidation makes cost-effective sense. One form of consolidation is defragmentation, which consolidates file fragments into a single extent, increasing access speed and reducing free space fragments to a small handful of larger chunks.

This paper defines “virtualization” and two popular applications of virtualization technology; addresses the challenges virtualization poses; and discusses the increased importance of disk performance, suggesting strategies for performance improvement.