As computer hardware increased in capability, virtualization emerged to take advantage of unused CPU cycles with moderate additional expense. Virtualization extended the life of many data centers which were near capacity for power and cooling by reducing the physical server footprint. As traditional IT departments became familiar with and deployed virtualization for their internal servers, they learned the core conceptual framework to begin using cloud hosting for new services or on-demand surge processing.
From an operational perspective, virtualization reduces cost and increases flexibility in work load distribution. However, organizations have to remember to maintain copies of their virtual metadata (VM configurations, network connections, environment capabilities, etc.) for reference and use in a disaster recovery scenario.