What Is Virtualization?

What Is Virtualization?

Virtualization is a technology that allows you to create and run multiple virtual instances of operating systems (OS) or applications on a single physical computer or server. The primary goal of virtualization is to enhance efficiency, flexibility, and resource utilization in computing environments.

Here are some key concepts related to virtualization:

1.Virtual Machine (VM):
A virtual machine is a software emulation of a physical computer. It runs an operating system and applications just like a physical machine but is created and managed by virtualization software. Multiple virtual machines can coexist on a single physical host.

2.Hypervisor (Virtual Machine Monitor – VMM):
The hypervisor is a layer of software that sits between the hardware and the virtual machines. It manages the virtualized resources, allocating them to different virtual machines. There are two types of hypervisors: Type 1 (bare-metal) hypervisors run directly on the hardware, while Type 2 (hosted) hypervisors run on top of an existing operating system.

3.Host and Guest:
In virtualization, the physical machine running the hypervisor is called the host, and the virtual machines running on that host are called guests.

4.Resource Pooling:
Virtualization allows for the pooling of physical resources (CPU, memory, storage) from multiple physical machines into a shared pool. This pool of resources can be dynamically allocated to virtual machines as needed.

Virtualization provides isolation between different virtual machines. Each VM operates independently of others, and issues in one VM do not affect the others. This isolation enhances security and stability.

6.Snapshot and Cloning:
Virtualization enables the creation of snapshots, which are point-in-time copies of a virtual machine. Snapshots can be used for backup and recovery purposes. Cloning allows the rapid duplication of virtual machines for scalability or testing purposes.

7.Live Migration
Many virtualization platforms support live migration, allowing a running virtual machine to be moved from one physical host to another with minimal downtime.

8.Application and Server Consolidation:
Virtualization is often used to consolidate multiple applications or servers onto a single physical machine, reducing hardware costs and improving resource utilization.

9.Cloud Computing:
Virtualization is a fundamental technology underlying cloud computing. Cloud providers use virtualization to efficiently allocate resources and deliver services to customers.

Overall, virtualization plays a crucial role in modern IT infrastructure by improving resource utilization, scalability, and flexibility while reducing costs and enhancing overall system management.

How does virtualization work?

Virtualized services can run either within traditional virtual machines or in containers. A virtual machine has a guest OS and the service. A container is a complete standalone package, with the service and all its dependencies on the system.

What are network virtualization’s benefits?

Virtualization enables new network services to be created and deployed in minutes, instead of in days. These services can be scaled up or down quickly to match demand.

Organizations of all sizes can benefit from automation. You can save time, eliminate manual work, and reduce OpEx. Virtualized services use hardware resources more efficiently and only as necessary, leading to savings in CapEx.

What makes network virtualization work?

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) enables remote management of infrastructure and rapid scaling of resources. Automated service delivery with orchestration enables administrators to create and deploy services called Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). NFV should support VNFs from many vendors to meet specific business needs.

Virtualization components

Virtualization software
A hypervisor provides management for virtualized services. It enables connections between virtual services and external interfaces. It should include platform management, a virtualization layer, a programmable API, and a health monitoring system.

Virtual Network Functions (VNFs)
Network traffic can traverse functions such as SD-WAN, firewalls, WAN optimization, and load balancing. These are common services at branch locations. Instead of running on a dedicated appliance, these functions can run on general-purpose x86 platforms or on purpose-built platforms. VNFs can run on virtual machines or in containers.

Virtualization hardware options
There are two main hardware options that support NFV. The first is a standard, off-the-shelf x86 server. The second is a “purpose-built” platform designed to support NFV applications. Purpose-built platforms include compute, storage, and networking capabilities. They are more efficient than x86 servers but can add to the cost of the overall solution.

Management options
Cloud-based management offers greater ease of use and functionality than on-premise options. Automated tools are essential for effectively administering a virtualized network to keep up with changing business demands. These include tools to create, monitor usage, and perform ongoing management tasks, such as service placement and removal.

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