Service virtualization is the opposite of – and complementary implementation to – server virtualization.

One of the biggest challenges with any implementation of elastic scalability as it relates to virtualization and cloud computing is managing that scalability at run-time and at design (configuration) time. The goal is to transparently scale out some service – network or application – in such a way as to eliminate the operational disruption often associated with scaling up (and down) efforts.

Service virtualization allows virtually any service to be transparently scaled out with no negative impact to the service and, perhaps more importantly, to the applications and other services which rely upon that service.