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A server workload is a way of thinking about the amount of processing a server will have to do in a fixed period of time. The workload can be comprised of things like the amount of programming running in the computer, the number of users connecting to its applications, how much time and processing power those interactions consume, etc.

By calculating the average server workload, you have a benchmark against which you can evaluate different systems. You can assess how easily it should handle the expected workload, which is derived from factors like response time between a user request and the system response, and throughput which is how much work is done in a period of time. Servers are usually assigned an expected workload when they are built. Their performance can then be measured and analyzed over time.

IT teams use different strategies to boost the workload capabilities of the servers in their data centers. Server virtualization has become a popular way to get more usage from existing servers. By virtualizing some mission-critical workloads on things like application servers and web servers, organizations can begin using more of the compute resources of their existing servers rather than having to purchase additional hardware to keep up with increasing workload demands.