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What is Virtualization?

Virtualization is the method of creating a virtual version of a device or resource. This can vary from operating systems, server, storage devices, and even network resources. Virtualization isolates multiple operating systems to execute various tasks within other operating systems. With virtualization software you can use one powerful server to test or emulate complicated network infrastructures.

Why does Virtualization matter in a small business?

By centralizing these resources we can minimize management costs. This type of technology pushes cloud computing to another level. As we become familiar with virtual machines we can move forward by moving physical servers to the cloud.

For the purposes of this example we will compare virtualization to a transportation vehicle, a bus.

  • This specific type of virtualization is hosted virtualization. Creating several or more instances of an operating systems with one physical server hardware is not uncommon.
  • Basic bus transportation carries passengers through various locations with different routes using the same vehicle.

How do you ride the bus?

  • To catch a ride on the bus you either purchase the bus, pay the bus toll, pre-pay, and etc. The bus driver chooses which route to take and the passengers are dropped off at their desired destination. Why do we ride the bus? You ride the bus because as a passenger you can save time, parking fees, avoid traffic, and the costs of operating a personal vehicle. The passengers will always have a destination. Passengers ride the bus to work, the park, residential areas, the grocery store, and etc.
  • Now let’s compare this to virtualization. You purchase one physical server. To use the server you either purchase the server (the bus), or rent it through a cloud service provider (the bus toll). Check out our SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS glossary terms for more on cloud services.
  • Virtualization software (the bus route) allows prioritization of hardware while isolating multiple operating system resources.
  • This allows allocation and consolidation of hardware resources such as memory, CPU, storage space, and etc. Let’s compare this to virtualization as the vehicle is dispatched varying from time, bus stops, and desired destinations.
  • Why should a bus dispatcher assign one bus to a single route? When a vehicle such as a bus can drop off passengers are multiple locations. To maximize the vehicle resources we transport passengers to multiple destinations.
  • Why should one server limit itself to one operating system? Because with multiple CPUs, memory, and hard drive space virtualzation can isolate resources for each OS.

For simple desktop virtualization popular software includes Microsoft Virtual PC, VMware, and Parallels Desktop for Mac. Once the session is in place a user can share and allocate resources to execute necessary tasks.

Information Technology Glossary

3G/4G/5GHardware RedundancyPersonal Cloud
Agile DevelopmentHybrid CloudPrivate Cloud
Big DataIaaSPublic Cloud
BYODInternet of Things (IoT)Redundancy
Cloud StorageISP RedundancySaaS
CybersecurityMobile AppsVirtualization
Geographic RedundancyPaaSWeb Apps

Office 365 Advisors Glossary

Below here we have an additional glossary from our partner site Office 365 Advisors.

BlacklistsFederationOffice Pro Plus
Cloud ComputingForefrontSaaS
Dial-In ConferencingIntranetService Health
DNSLync OnlineSharePoint Online
Exchange OnlineMigrationSLA
ExtranetOffice 365 PortalWhitelists