What is virtualization

Virtualization - definition

What is virtualization?

The term virtualization refers to an abstraction of physical IT resources. Components such as hardware, software, storage and network components are provided on a virtual level and can be used flexibly by different users. In this way, the utilization of IT resources is improved and the prerequisites for the cloud age are created.

Virtualization definition & benefits

In the course of virtualization, for example, a single physical computer is divided into several virtual computer systems.

Special software is used for this - called a hypervisor. It works, so to speak, like a digital privacy screen: By hiding the access of all other users, the individual user has the feeling of being the only user of the physical resource, i.e. the hardware. The virtual computer systems, also called virtual machines, can even act as completely isolated software containers with the operating system and applications, completely independently of one another.

This has various advantages. Instead of using several servers each for different tasks, but only partially using their capacity, different tasks can be carried out via individual servers. The result is less physical IT resources, less energy, and less spending. The utilization of the available resources increases. In addition, virtual machines can be easily backed up and quickly restored in the event of a security problem. Therefore, virtualization is considered to be the most effective method for reducing IT expenses and increasing efficiency and agility.

Virtualization encompasses five main categories:

  • Desktop virtualization
    Centralized server delivers and manages several individualized, virtual desktops.
  • Server virtualization
    Multiple operating systems can run as virtual machines on a single physical server.
  • Network virtualization
    Network bandwidth is distributed across multiple channels that are assigned to different servers and devices
  • Software virtualization
    Separates software from hardware and the operating system.
  • Storage virtualization
    Combines multiple network storage resources together to create a single storage device that multiple users can access.
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