With the advancement of technology in every sector of work, the proper utilization of the IT resources isn’t performed by the user, and this leaves the system’s resources unused, which can be utilized by applying the method of virtualization. In this article on what is virtualization, we will understand the process of virtualizing the physical resources, data, and storage using dedicated virtualization software. 

What Is Virtualization?


The process of virtualization is a way to create multiple virtually simulated instances over the computer hardware to utilize your system's underlying resources fully. This increases the productivity and efficiency of our professional and personal requirements.

The software hypervisor allows the elements of the system, such as storage, memory, processor, etc, to be distributed among multiple separate and secure virtual computers, created using the hypervisor, which is termed as virtual machines(VMs), where every virtual machine has its dedicated operating system which uses a part of the system's hardware resources for operation.

What Is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is essentially virtualization on a vast epic scale. There are millions and millions of virtual machines running in different environments for millions of users across the world. Virtualization is a foundational element of cloud computing and enables multiple users to share a single physical instance of a resource at a time.

What Is a Virtual Machine?


The virtual machine is the emulation or a virtual representation of a physical device that can execute multiple operating systems on the same computer with a different operating system.

The operating systems installed using the virtual machine are known as the guest OS, and the physical system's operating system where the virtual machine is executed is known as the host OS.

How Does Virtualisation Work?


A hypervisor is a software that allows you to create a virtual layer over the hardware system that manages the interaction between the virtual machines and the system's hardware resources. They are installed as any other software application in the system and perform the task of virtualization.

It acts as a connection between the physical system and virtual machines to ensure the proper access of the hardware resources. How this process takes place is mentioned later in this tutorial on what is virtualization.

It also manages so that the virtual machines don't interfere with each other's memory and computing resources. The hypervisor also manages the Virtual machines and is known as the virtual machine monitor (VMM).

Utilizing such software and the method by using the reference from this tutorial on what is virtualization, you can effectively use our system's underlying hardware resources, i.e., not only applicable to computers but also to network, cloud, and data resources.

Types of Hypervisor

  • Type1/Bare Metal: This type of hypervisor interacts directly with the hardware resources of the system, replacing the host operating system, i.e., it is also known as a bare-metal hypervisor.
  • Type2: This type of hypervisor runs as a software application on the host operating system, and it also coordinates with the virtual machines for hardware resource management.

Types of Virtualization

In accordance with different IT workspace, you have multiple forms for virtualization:

1. Desktop Virtualization

In this type of virtualization, you can run multiple operating systems, each in its own virtual machine on the same system.


Types of desktop virtualization:

  1. Virtual desktop infrastructure runs numerous virtual machines on a central server and then hosts it to the host system according to the user's requirements. In this way, you can access any operating system from any device without installing the actual operating system in their local machine.
  2. Local desktop virtualization is the type that runs the hypervisor on the local system, which allows the user to install multiple operating systems simultaneously without affecting the host's operating system.

2. Network Virtualization

In this, the software creates a virtual instance of the network that can be used to manage from a single console. It forms the abstraction of the hardware components and functions (e.g., switches, routers, etc.), simplifying network management.


Types of network virtualization:

  1. Software-defined networking (SDN) virtualizes hardware that controls network traffic routing.
  2. Network function virtualization (NFV) virtualizes hardware appliances that provide network-specific functions easier to configure and manage, e.g., firewall, etc.

3. Storage Virtualization

This virtualization enables all the storage devices on the system to be accessed and be managed as a single storage unit pool for better maintenance.


The storage virtualization collects all the storage into a single pool from which they can allocate to any of the VM on the network as required.

This step makes it easier for the hypervisor to assign storage for VMs with max efficiency and without wasting any hardware resources from our system.

4. Application Virtualization

In this virtualization process, the application runs without the need of installing it into the system, as they run on a virtual environment.


Types of virtualization:

  1. Local application virtualization runs on the host device but runs in a virtual environment, not in the hardware.
  2. Application virtualization, the application is on the server-side, and it sends some components to the host device according to the requirement.
  3. Server-based application virtualization runs only on the server-side and sends the only interface to the client system.

5. GPU Virtualization

This particular virtualization type increases computing efficiency by assisting with heavy graphic processing or related matters.

This virtualization integrates multiple VMs or uses a single VM for performing such tasks of graphics-related work, heavy video editing, and some parts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) working.

6. Cloud Virtualization

This type of virtualization is dependent on the process of virtualization to a large extent, as it virtualizes the cloud server, data, storage, and other parts of the hardware resources.

Services offered by the cloud virtualization:

  1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): This service provides help by virtualizing storage, server, and network-related work, where you can design them according to your requirements.
  2. Platform as service (PaaS): Virtualizing databases, programming, and development tools require this service.
  3. Software as a service (SaaS): As the name suggests, this service provides virtualization for software-based applications to be hosted on the cloud.

Benefits of Virtualization


  1. Resource Efficiency: As the name suggests, before virtualization, each application server used its hardware resources, which were being under-used. Still, having multiple virtual machines can achieve the maximum efficiency of the hardware resources.
  2. Minimum Downtime: This refers to the crashes of the operating system and application which can cause a halt in user productivity. By using virtualization, the admin can run multiple similar virtual machines simultaneously alongside and change over to the working instances in case of a crash, instead of having numerous dedicated servers.
  3. Time Management: Buying, installing, and configuring a new system is costly and a waste of time. 

In such a case, virtualization can solve the problem provided that the existing hardware resources are sufficient for running the virtualization software; otherwise, it can be configured for the same.

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In this tutorial on ‘What is virtualization,’ you learned about a process that can be applied by installing the software hypervisor, which allows you to create multiple virtual instances of physical hardware devices. Then we learned about virtual machines, how they are made and maintained, continuing with types of hypervisors, and the benefits in this tutorial on what is virtualization.

If you want to know more about the topic and parts related to issues mentioned in this tutorial on what is virtualization, you can refer to Simplilearn’s Cyber Security Expert course. After the completion of your expert course, you will become proficient in network-related tasks, cyber security, and risk analysis, including other skills.

Do you have any questions related to this tutorial on what is virtualization? If yes, feel free to mention them in the comment section at the bottom of this page. Our team will help you solve your queries ASAP.

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