Virtualization is the process of creating a virtual version of a physical resource, such as a server, operating system, storage device, or network. This virtual version is called a virtual machine (VM) and operates independently of the physical resource.
Virtualization enables multiple operating systems to run on a single physical machine, which can increase efficiency and reduce costs. It also allows for greater flexibility and scalability in managing IT resources.
There are several types of virtualization, including server virtualization, desktop virtualization, network virtualization, and storage virtualization. Each type has its own unique benefits and use cases.
What is Virtualization Software?
Virtualization software is a type of software that enables the creation and management of virtual machines (VMs) on a host machine. Virtualization software allows multiple operating systems to run on a single physical machine, each in its own isolated environment, known as a virtual machine. This allows for more efficient use of hardware resources and can simplify management and maintenance of IT systems.
The virtualization software typically consists of a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor (VMM), which is responsible for managing the virtual machines and providing them with access to the underlying physical resources, such as CPU, memory, storage, and network devices. The hypervisor creates a layer of abstraction between the physical resources and the virtual machines, allowing them to operate independently of each other and with their own unique configurations.
There are different types of virtualization software, including desktop virtualization software, server virtualization software, and cloud virtualization software. Each type of virtualization software has its own set of features and capabilities, and is designed to meet specific needs and requirements. Examples of popular virtualization software include VMware, Hyper-V, and our very own Scale Computing HyperCore.
Pros and Cons of Virtualization
Are there advantages of virtualization? Virtualization technology offers reduced upfront hardware and continuing operating costs, a main benefit of virtualization. Lets dive a little into both the advantages and disadvantages of virtualization to see if this makes sense for your organization.
- Cost Savings: Virtualization can save money on hardware, energy, and maintenance. With virtualization, companies can consolidate multiple servers into one physical machine, which reduces the need for hardware, power, and cooling.
- Improved Resource Utilization: Virtualization can maximize resource utilization by allowing multiple virtual machines (VMs) to share resources such as CPU, memory, and storage.
- Increased Flexibility: Virtualization allows VMs to be created, cloned, and deleted quickly and easily, which provides businesses with greater flexibility and agility.
- Easier Management: Virtualization simplifies management by allowing administrators to manage multiple VMs on a single physical machine.
- Disaster Recovery: Virtualization provides easy disaster recovery options by allowing VMs to be quickly backed up and restored.
- Performance Overhead: Virtualization can introduce performance overhead due to the need to emulate hardware for each VM. We took this into account when we built SC//HyperCore so that it saves you time and valuable resources because your software, servers, and storage are in a fully integrated platform. The same innovative software and simple user interface power your infrastructure regardless of your hardware configuration.
- Complexity: Virtualization can add complexity to the IT infrastructure, which can make it more difficult to manage. Again, using patented HyperCore™ technology, the award-winning self-healing platform identifies, reduces, and corrects problems in real-time. Achieve results easier and faster, even when local IT resources are scarce. SC//HyperCore makes ensuring application uptime easier for IT to manage and for customers to afford.
- Licensing Costs: Virtualization can result in additional licensing costs for operating systems and applications that are installed on the virtual machines. SC//HyperCore eliminates the need to combine traditional virtualization software, disaster recovery software, servers, and shared storage from separate vendors to create a virtualized environment. SC//HyperCore’s lightweight, all-in-one architecture makes it easy to deploy fully integrated, highly available virtualization right out of the box and at no additional costs.
Next you are probably wondering about some examples of virtualization. Let's dive in.
Virtualization Technology Examples
Virtualization technology provides a flexible and efficient approach to optimizing hardware and software resources, allowing for cost savings, improved scalability, and enhanced manageability. Three key types of virtualization technology are application virtualization, network virtualization, server virtualization, and server hardware virtualization, each with its unique advantages and use cases.
Application virtualization is a technique that isolates software applications from the underlying operating system and hardware. This isolation allows applications to run in a controlled environment, reducing compatibility issues and enhancing security. Examples of application virtualization include Docker and Microsoft's App-V.
Docker, for instance, enables developers to package applications and their dependencies into containers, which can run consistently across different environments. This flexibility streamlines development and deployment processes, making it a popular choice for DevOps and microservices architectures.
Microsoft's App-V, on the other hand, is geared towards simplifying software deployment and maintenance. It virtualizes Windows applications, making it easier to manage and update them centrally. This technology is especially beneficial for large organizations with diverse software requirements.
Network virtualization abstracts the network's physical infrastructure, which allows multiple virtual networks on a shared network infrastructure. A well-known example of network virtualization is using Virtual LANs (VLANs) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN).
VLANs partition a physical network into multiple logical networks, each with its configuration and security policies. This technology aids in traffic segmentation and enhances network efficiency and security. It is widely used in data centers to isolate different departments or clients.
SDN, on the other hand, takes network virtualization to the next level by separating the control plane from the data plane. This decoupling enables centralized control and dynamic network provisioning, making networks more flexible and responsive to changing demands. SDN is commonly used in cloud environments to optimize network resources and automate network management.
Server hardware virtualization is the most well-known form of virtualization. It involves partitioning a physical server into multiple virtual machines (VMs), each running its operating system and applications. Leading examples of server virtualization technology include Scale Computing HyperCore, VMware, Hyper-V.
SC//HyperCore is based on a 64-bit, hardened, and proven OS kernel and leverages a mixture of patented proprietary and adapted open-source components for a truly hyperconverged product. All components—storage, virtualization, software, and hardware—interface directly through the HyperCore hypervisor and Scale Computing Reliable Independent Block Engine (SCRIBE) storage layers to create an ideal computing platform that can be deployed anywhere from the data center to the edge of the network.
The SC//HyperCore software layer is a lightweight, type 1 (bare metal) hypervisor that directly integrates into the OS kernel and leverages the virtualization offload capabilities provided by modern CPU architectures.
Specifically, SC//HyperCore is based on components of the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor, which has been part of the Linux mainline kernel for many years and has been extensively field-proven in large-scale environments.
Virtualization technology, whether through application virtualization, network virtualization, or server virtualization, has become indispensable in modern IT landscapes. These examples showcase how virtualization streamlines operations, increases efficiency, and reduces costs, making it a cornerstone of today's computing infrastructure. Its continued evolution promises even more innovations and efficiencies for the future.
Benefits of Virtualization
We have discussed the benefits above, so by now you are probably interested in how customers like you have deployed application virtualization to help streamline and improve your IT operations. Scale Computing is one of the most highly rated and highly reviewed software companies in the industry. Read customer reviews to learn why our HCI for edge computing solution is so popular with end users and partners like you!.