Creating a virtual version of anything like an Operating System, Networking Resources or a storage device is termed as “Virtualization” in computing.

A physical machine, subjectively from the user’s point of view and objectively from a hardware system administrator’s point of view, is an actual and a complete machine. But a Virtual machine can only be called as a complete machine subjectively. Virtually it is just a files or programs which run on a physical machine. The user is seldom only aware of the physical machine and not the virtual machine.

The overall trend in the enterprise IT is completely based on virtualization. This trend comprises of:

Autonomic Computing: Using this type of computing, an IT environment would use a perceived activity to manage by itself.

Utility Computing: Using this type of computing the clients pay only for what they use, and the utility here is the computer processing power by itself.

The primary goal of virtualization is to improve the utilization of hardware resources by centralizing the overall administrative tasks. Virtualization uses the concept of parallelism where more than one operating system runs parallel on a single CPU. Doing so reduces the overhead costs and this not similar to multitasking where in several programs run on the same operating system.

The benefits of using virtualization include:

  • Managing updates in a better way
  • Managing dynamic changes to the operating system, and
  • Managing the applications without affecting the users

Concluding it all, virtualization helps in improving the overall availability and efficiency of application and resources in an organization.

In all, virtualization dramatically improves the availability and efficiency of applications and resources in an organization. Instead of fully relying on the age-old model of “one server, one application” which leads to under-utilized resources, the virtual resources are dynamically applied to meet the business needs without any excess fat .

The different types of Virtualization are:

  • Hardware Virtualization
  • Software Virtualization
  • Network Virtualization
  • Memory Virtualization
  • Storage Virtualization
  • Desktop Virtualization, and
  • Data Virtualization

Hardware Virtualization: It is also called as platform virtualization. Here a virtual machine acts as a real computer with an operating system. All the underlying hardware resources are separated from the software which works on the virtual machine. In a hardware virtualization the guest machine acts as a virtual machine and the host machine acts is the actual machine where virtualization occurs. Here the host is referred to the software which runs on the physical machine and the guest is referred to the software which runs on the virtual machine.

A Virtual Machine Manager or a hypervisor is a software that creates a virtual machine on the host hardware.

The different types of hardware virtualization are:

  • Full Virtualization
  • Para Virtualization and
  • Partial Virtualization

Software Virtualization: The virtualization of computer programs or its applications is called as Software Virtualization.

The different types of software virtualizations are:

  • Application Virtualization
  • Operating System Level Virtualization
  • Service Virtualization

Application Virtualization: It is also called as Workspace virtualization. In this type of a virtualization we have a host of applications running in an environment different from that of the operating system and it is closely associated with the concept of portable applications.

Operating System Level Virtualization: In this type of a virtualization we have a host of more than one virtualized environment running in a single operating system.

Service Virtualization: This type of virtualization involves the imitation of the behavior of third party system components which are needed to execute an application under test (AUT). This is mainly used for the purpose of testing or development.

Network Virtualization: In this type of virtualization a network addressing space is created virtually inside or across a network.

Memory Virtualization: In this type of virtualization, the random access memory resources are aggregated into a single memory pool from a networked system.

Storage Virtualization: In this type of a virtualization, the logical storage is completely abstracted from the physical storage.

Desktop Virtualization: In this type of a virtualization, the logical desktop is separated from the physical machine. VDI is one form of a desktop virtualization and it is considered to be a more advanced form of hardware virtualization.

Data Virtualization: In this type of virtualization, the data is presented as an abstract layer and it is independent of the database system, storage and structure under it.

Also Refer:

Reference Books:

  • Virtualization Essentials by Matthew Portnoy
  • Virtualization For Dummies by Bernard Golden

You can find all upcoming training programs for Virtualization @


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