Virtualization is a technology that allows you to create virtual computing environments instead of physical ones. The process itself is similar to creating one or more virtual computers inside a single physical machine.

The concept of virtualization was invented back in the sixties of the last century to use the power of a single server by several people at the same time. Now this technology allows users to:

  • run applications designed for a third-party operating system;
  • to segment large systems into many smaller parts;
  • improve the efficiency of using the server by multiple users at the same time;
  • isolate and protect programs from third-party processes occurring on the same host.

Types of virtualization

It is customary to distinguish five main types of virtualization:

  • Data virtualization — allows you to combine data from multiple sources and work with them, as well as provide access to them on demand;
  • Desktop virtualization — allows an administrator to deploy a desktop environment and work with it simultaneously on hundreds of physical computers;
  • server virtualization — extends the functionality of specific server functions and allows you to separate it in such a way as to ensure the use of components to serve multiple functions;
  • OS—level virtualization – allows you to deploy multiple operating systems on the same computer;
  • Virtualization of network functions — reduces the number of physical components, such as cables or routers, needed to create independent networks.

Virtual machines and hypervisors

Virtualization technology is impossible without hypervisors — special software that allows you to run multiple guest machines simultaneously. Some hypervisors run directly on physical hardware, while some are placed on top of the operating system.

A virtual machine does not use a physical computer to perform calculations, but software. Virtual machines are often used by cloud services for cost-effective and flexible computing.

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