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Physicalization, the opposite of virtualization, is a way to place multiple physical machines in a rack unit.[1] It can be a way to reduce hardware costs, since in some cases, server processors cost more per core than energy efficient laptop processors, which may make up for added cost of board level integration.[2] While Moore's law makes increasing integration less expensive, some jobs require lots of I/O bandwidth, which may be less expensive to provide using many fewer integrated processors.

Applications and services that are I/O bound are likely to benefit from such physicalized environments. This ensures that each operating system instance is running on a processor that has its own network interface card, host bus and I/O sub-system unlike in the case of a multi-core servers where a single I/O sub-system is shared between all the cores / VMs.

A data physicalization (or simply physicalization) is a physical artefact whose geometry or material properties encode data.[3] It has the main goals to engage people and to communicate data using computer-supported physical data representations.[4]

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