Virtualization explained simply

Virtualization Defined

note: this article is an over view, if you want a tutorial on installing a virtual machine using vmware click here

Virtualization is a  software technology that allows multiple operating systems and applications to be run on the same server/hardware at the same time. Virtualization is transforming the way IT hardware is utilized and is fundamentally changing the way that technology is being utilized. Put simply, it’s the process of creating a virtual, rather than physical, version of something. Virtualization can apply to computers, operating systems, storage devices, applications, or networks. However, server virtualization is at the heart of it.

It is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility – not just for large enterprises, but for small and midsize businesses too. Virtualization has brought the total cost of owner down dramatically while increasing efficiency and reliability.


Virtualization can:

  • Reduce capital and operating costs.
  • Deliver high application availability.
  • Minimize or eliminate downtime.
  • Increase IT productivity, efficiency, agility and responsiveness.
  • Speed and simplify application and resource provisioning.
  • Support business continuity and disaster recovery.
  • Enable centralized management.
  • Build a true Software-Defined Data Center.
  • increase IT flexibility and scalability while creating significant cost savings

The Virtual Machine

A virtual computer systems is known as “virtual machine” (VM):  a tightly isolated software container with an operating system and application inside.  Each self-contained VM is completely independent. Putting multiple VMs on a single computer enables several operating systems and applications to run on just one physical server, or “host”.

A thin layer of software called a hypervisor decouples the virtual machines from the host and dynamically allocates computing resources to each virtual machine as needed.

A virtual machine (VM) typically has two components: the host server and the guest virtual machine. The host server is the underlying hardware that provides computing resources, such as processing power, memory, disk and network I/O, and so on. The guest virtual machine is a completely separate and independent instance of an operating system and application software. Guests are the virtual workloads that reside on a host server and share that server’s computing resources.


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