Introduction to Virtualization

As a user some of you may be nonplussed by the two terminologies which appear now almost at every  technical site:  Cloud Computing and Virtualization. We had covered introductory articles on Cloud Computing but Virtualization has not been covered here. So lets try and understand what is Virtualization and what it offers because of which it has become  a buzz word.

What is Virtualization

First of all understand that Virtualization is nothing new – it was always there, it had a great importance during Mainframe Computer time where it was required to share the resources in an efficient manner, as they were quite costly at that time.

With the advent of time Virtualization lost its importance due to two major reasons:

  1. Hardware costs dropped down drastically with LSI and VLSI.
  2. x86 architecture became very popular.

In short:

Virtualization is any framework or process or layer which divides the resources like servers, databases, networks, operating system into one or more different execution environments.

It allows a users to run single physical resource like your server or storage device to appear that it is running as multiple logical resource. What virtualization actually does is that it abstracts the characteristics of the computing resources so that other processes, applications or systems can interact with those set of resources in an non-conflicting fashion.

Examples can be partitioning the drive, using mobile emulator or using products like Virtual PC or VMware desktop virtualization products.

Virtualization like Cloud Computing has no standard industry definition and each and every definition can be correct. It also doesn’t have standard types so we can classify it under three broad categories :

  1. Operating System Virtualization
  2. Storage Device Virtualization
  3. Application Virtualization

There are some other types of virtualization which has evolved over the years and are now gaining importance in the emerging fields like cloud computing and grid computing. These are storage virtualization, service virtualization, hardware virtualization, network virtualization, management virtualization and application server virtualization.

The scope of  virtualization is rising and with single on chip architecture to be rolled out soon, I expect lot of investments in this field.

I will be throwing light on above said types in my future posts.

Take a look at Nested Virtualization in Windows 10.

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Harsh Mahajan is a Microsoft Student Partner. A technology enthusiast at heart, he has a tremendous passion for emerging technologies & trends like Cloud Computing & Windows Azure. He is associated with the International .Net Association as Brains Unleashed leader.