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Virtualization of computer systems – Next Generation of Information Technology

Virtualization Architecture concept

Reasons for Virtualization

- Reducing the cost of physical infrastructure. Using virtualization, you can reduce the number of servers, and thus other hardware in the IT infrastructure in the server room. This leads to lower maintenance costs, and to lower electricity bills.

- Consolidation of servers and infrastructure optimization. Virtualization allows a much higher degree of utilization of equipment, breaking the classical concept of “one application to one server”. You can utilize virtual machine as their needs. VM need more RAM, just turn of VM , add more RAM from the hypervisor administrative console, and turn on VM, it take about couple of minutes. Same for adding CPU.

- Improved operational capability. The method of managing virtual servers is much easier and faster, thus saving time and administrative effort.

- Increased availability of applications. The ability for a very simple and quick migration of virtual machines allows easier maintenance of the physical hardware with no unavailable applications that server is running during the maintenance or repair.

What is a virtual machine?

Virtual machine is tightly isolated software container that can run the operating system and all other necessary applications in the same way as it would be applied to the physical computer. Virtual machine are identical as regards physical computer and contains its own (software-based) CPU, RAM, disk and network card. In next image is a graphical representation of a virtual machine.

Virtual Machine Architecture

The operating system does not notice the difference between the virtual machine and the physical computer, or an application or another computer on the network can not detect it. Even the virtual machine thinks for itself that is a real computer. However, the virtual machine is composed solely of software and contains no hardware components. As a result, the virtual machine offers several significant advantages over physical hardware.
Virtual machines possess several characteristics that are very important for the user:

- Insulation – While virtual machines share hardware resources of the physical computer, their work is completely isolated from the work of other virtual machines. If one of them stops working for any reason, the other will continue to work as if nothing happened. Availability and security of applications running in virtual machines are superior to applications running on nonvirtulized systems because of the ability of isolation.

- Encapsulation – The virtual machine is practically a closed container in which software is encapsulated complete set of virtualized hardware resources as well as operating system and all the applications. It is this characteristic makes virtual machines to be incredibly portable and easy to manage. The common virtual machine can be moved from one place to another with the same ease that is needed to copy a file or record of any device, or copy trough the network on shared location.

- Compatibility – Just like the physical computer, the virtual machine hosts its operating system and its applications and have all the components and the physical computer (motherboard, video card, network card, etc..). As a result, virtual machines are completely compatible with all standard x86 operating systems, applications and drivers and they can run all applications that would otherwise be performed on the physical computer.

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