Virtualization: Operating System and Virtual Machines Essay example

4013 Words Sep 30th, 2010 17 Pages
Putting Virtualization to Use
Understanding Virtualization by Implementation
By: Thomas Kay
Introduction
Virtualization is a proven software technology that is rapidly transforming the IT landscape and fundamentally changing the way that people compute. Today’s powerful x86 computer hardware was designed to run a single operating system and a single application. This leaves most machines vastly underutilized. Virtualization lets you run multiple virtual machines on a single physical machine, sharing the resources of that single computer across multiple environments. Different virtual machines can run different operating systems and multiple applications on the same physical computer. (Virtualization Basics)
Virtualization is a
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A virtual machine behaves exactly like a physical computer and contains it own virtual (ie, software-based) CPU, RAM hard disk and network interface card (NIC). (Virtualization Basics)
An operating system can’t tell the difference between a virtual machine and a physical machine, nor can applications or other computers on a network. Even the virtual machine thinks it is a “real” computer. Nevertheless, a virtual machine is composed entirely of software and contains no hardware components whatsoever. As a result, virtual machines offer a number of distinct advantages over physical hardware. (Virtualization Basics)
Virtualization: Virtual Machine Benefits
Just like a physical computer, a virtual machine hosts its own guest operating system and applications, and has all the components found in a physical computer (motherboard, VGA card, network card controller, etc). As a result, virtual machines are completely compatible with all standard x86 operating systems, applications and device drivers, so you can use a virtual machine to run all the same software that you would run on a physical x86 computer.
While virtual machines can share the physical resources of a single computer, they remain completely isolated from each other as if they were separate physical machines. If, for example, there are four virtual machines on a…

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