The term “virtual machine” is probably the most overused and misunderstood word in computing today. As virtualization software becomes more widespread, however, a clearer definition of what it really means to run a virtual machine has become available.
A virtual machine is a computing device that runs an operating system inside its hardware-based CPU rather than within its software-based computer Programmed Kernel Environment (PKEM). Although this definition of virtualization might seem simple to understand at first, it is actually quite complicated.
This article explains what a virtual environment is, how it differs from virtualization software such as VMware Workstation or Microsoft Virtual Server, and how VDI solutions provide the perfect storm for virtualizing desktops, servers, and applications.
What is a Virtual Environment?
A virtual environment is a computer system that runs an operating system inside its hardware-based CPU rather than within its software-based computer Programmed Kernel Environment (PKEM). The virtual environment is the computer system that hosts the operating system, rather than the computer software itself.
The virtual environment is the same thing as virtual machine, but the term is often applied to server virtualization environments.
What is a Virtual Machine?
A virtual machine (VM) is a computing device that runs an operating system inside its hardware-based CPU rather than within its software-based computer Programmed Kernel Environment (PKEM). A typical computer running a VM has a virtual hardware that runs the VM instead of the hardware of the computer running the operating system.
A virtual machine can run arbitrary software, not just software that is hosted on the virtual hardware. A virtual machine can host an operating system, such as Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, or Linux, or it can be programmed to execute a single application, such as an entire database server application.
The virtual hardware of the virtual machine can be a hardware accelerator card, a chipset, a dedicated computer memory, or a software running inside the operating system.
VDI and Virtual Environment
A virtualized environment is created by running multiple computers on a single physical machine. The computers can be physically separate or they can be connected by a network. The virtual machines run inside the computer’s virtual hardware, which runs inside the computer software.
The virtual hardware and virtual software can be the same or different. The virtual environment is created by using the technology that allows computers to run software that is identical to that run in a physical machine.
Benefits of Using a Virtual Environment
The main benefit of using a virtual environment is that it allows you to run multiple applications on a single computer. This is useful for desktops, laptops, or servers. The virtual environment allows you to scale applications without purchasing an expensive server or having more employees consume the same resources.
You can easily scale applications by adding additional computers without increasing the price of the solution. Another benefit of using a virtual environment is that the application running inside the VM can be updated without downtime. Updates to the virtual environment happen through software updates or patches, which are often released as free updates for customers of host hardware suppliers.
Host platforms that provide hardware-based virtualization solutions often have access to a large ecosystem of third-party software that provides additional functionality such as management, automation, and security tools.
Different Types of Virtual Machine
A virtual machine can be a stand-alone system, a server, or a software tool. A virtual machine can be implemented as either a stand-alone system or a server. In this article, we focus on virtual machines that are stand-alone systems. A virtual machine can also be a server, but in this article we focus on virtual machines that run on hosts.
The virtual environment concept is nothing new, and it’s actually something that has been around for quite a while. The concept of a virtual machine has evolved over time, and currently there are two main types of virtual environments: full virtualization and software-only virtualization.
To benefit from the benefits of a virtual environment, it is essential to understand the difference between virtualization software and virtual environments. Virtualization software is software that runs inside the host operating system, whereas virtual environments are computer systems that run an operating system inside their hardware-based CPU rather than in their software-based computer Programmed Kernel Environment (PKEM).
When it comes to virtualization software, there are a few main differences between virtual environments and virtual machines. Virtual environments are usually a single computer system that hosts an operating system through a virtual hardware, whereas virtual machines are a single computer system that hosts multiple applications.