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 let’s try and understand what is Virtualization and what it offers because of which it has become a buzz word.
What is Virtualization in computers
First of all, understand that Virtualization is nothing new – it was always there, it had 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:
- Hardware costs dropped down drastically with LSI and VLSI.
- x86 architecture became very popular.
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 users to run single physical resources like your server or storage device to appear that it is running as multiple logical resources. 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 sets of resources in a non-conflicting fashion.
Examples can be partitioning the drive, using the 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 :
- Operating System Virtualization
- Storage Device Virtualization
- Application Virtualization
There are some other types of virtualization that have evolved over the years and are now gaining importance in emerging fields like cloud computing and grid computing. These are storage virtualization, service virtualization, hardware virtualization, network virtualization, management virtualization, and application server virtualization.
Read: How to enable or disable Hardware virtualization vis BIOS.
The scope of virtualization is rising and with single on-chip architecture to be rolled out soon, I expect a lot of investments in this field.
I will be throwing light on the above-said types in my future posts.
Take a look at Nested Virtualization in Windows OS.