Virtualization enables users to disjoint operating systems from the underlying hardware, i.e, users can run multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux, on a single physical machine at the same time. Such operating systems are known as guest Oses (operating systems).
Virtualization deploys software that makes an abstraction layer across computer hardware, letting the hardware components such as processors, memory, storage etc of a particular computer to be segmented into several virtual elements (also known as virtual machines).
- Virtual Machine (VM): It is a virtual computer, executing underneath a hypervisor.
- Hypervisor: It is an operating system, performing on the actual hardware, the virtual counterpart is a subpart of this operating system in the form of a running process. Hypervisors are observed as Domain 0 or Dom0.
- Container: Some light-weighted VMs that are subpart of the same operating system instance as its hypervisor are known as containers. They are a group of processes that runs along with their corresponding namespace for process identifiers.
- Virtual Network: It is a logically separated network inside the servers that could be expanded across multiple servers.
- Virtualization Software: Either be a piece of a software application package or an operating system or a specific version of that operating system, this is the software that assists in deploying the virtualization on any computer device.
In the context of cloud computing, virtualization is a technique that makes a virtual ecosystem of storage devices and the server OS.
- Cloud virtualization transforms the traditional computing methods such that the workload management is more efficient, economic and scalable.
- In that case, virtualization enables users to use various machines that share one particular physical instance of any resource.
- Virtualization concerning Cloud Computing is being unified swiftly, and advancing the conventional course of computing such as virtualization is helping in the sharing of applications across a network thread of several enterprises and active users.
Characteristics of Virtualization
Isolation: Virtualization software involves self-contained virtual machines, these VMs give guest users (not an individual but a number of instances as applications, operating systems, and devices) an isolated online, virtual environment. This online environment not only defends sensitive knowledge but also allows guest users to remain-connected.
Resource Distribution: Either be a single computer or a network of connected servers, virtualization allows users to make a unique computer environment from one host machine that lets users to restrict the participants as active users, scale down power consumption and easy control.
Availability: Virtualization software provides various number of features that users won’t obtain at physical servers, these features are beneficial in increasing uptime, availability, fault tolerance, and many more. These features help users to avoid downtime that subverts the users’ efficiencies and productivities and also generates security threats and safety hazards.
Authenticity and security: At ease, virtualization platforms assure the continuous uptime by balancing load automatically that runs an excessive number of servers across multiple host machines in order to prevent interruption services.
Aggregation: Since virtualization allows several devices to split resources from a single machine, so it can be deployed to join multiple devices into a single potent host. In addition to that, aggregation also demands for cluster management software in order to connect a homogeneous group of computers or servers collectively for making a unified resource center.
The ability to run multiple virtual networks with each has a separate control and data plan. It co-exists together on top of one physical network. It can be managed by individual parties that potentially confidential to each other.
Network virtualization provides a facility to create and provision virtual networks logical switches, routers, firewalls, load balancer, Virtual Private Network (VPN), and workload security within days or even in weeks.
Application virtualization helps a user to have remote access of an application from a server. The server stores all personal information and other characteristics of the application but can still run on a local workstation through the internet. Example of this would be a user who needs to run two different versions of the same software. Technologies that use application virtualization are hosted applications and packaged applications.
Desktop virtualization allows the users’ OS to be remotely stored on a server in the data centre. It allows the user to access their desktop virtually, from any location by a different machine. Users who want specific operating systems other than Windows Server will need to have a virtual desktop. Main benefits of desktop virtualization are user mobility, portability, easy management of software installation, updates, and patches.
This is a kind of virtualization in which masking of server resources takes place. Here, the central-server (physical server) is divided into multiple different virtual servers by changing the identity number, processors. So, each system can operate its own operating systems in isolate manner. Where each sub-server knows the identity of the central server. It causes an increase in the performance and reduces the operating cost by the deployment of main server resources into a sub-server resource. It’s beneficial in virtual migration, reduce energy consumption, reduce infrastructural cost, etc.
Storage virtualization is an array of servers that are managed by a virtual storage system. The servers aren’t aware of exactly where their data is stored, and instead function more like worker bees in a hive. It makes managing storage from multiple sources to be managed and utilized as a single repository. storage virtualization software maintains smooth operations, consistent performance and a continuous suite of advanced functions despite changes, break down and differences in the underlying equipment.
This is the kind of virtualization in which the data is collected from various sources and managed that at a single place without knowing more about the technical information like how data is collected, stored & formatted then arranged that data logically so that its virtual view can be accessed by its interested people and stakeholders, and users through the various cloud services remotely. Many big giant companies are providing their services like Oracle, IBM, At scale, Cdata, etc.
Hassle-free data transfers
Another benefit of virtualization in cloud computing is expedited data transfer. You can easily transfer data from physical storage to a virtual server, and vice versa. Virtualization in cloud computing can also handle long-distance data transfers. Administrators don’t have to waste time digging through hard drives to find data. Instead, dedicated server and cloud storage space allow you to easily locate required files and transfer them appropriately.
Protection from system failures
No matter how careful you are with the technology you use, technology in general can sometimes be prone to system issues. Businesses can handle a few glitches, but if your developer is working on an important application that needs to be finished immediately, the last thing you need is a system crash.
One advantage of virtualization in cloud computing is the automatic backup that takes place across multiple devices. By storing all your backup data through virtualized cloud services or networks, you can easily access files from any device. This multi-layered access prevents you from losing any files, even if one system goes down for a time.
Firewall and security support
Security remains a central focus in the IT space. Through virtual firewalls, made possible through computer virtualization, you can restrict access to your data at much lower costs compared to traditional data protection methods. Virtualization earns you protection from many potential cybersecurity issues, through a virtual switch that protects your data and applications from harmful malware, viruses and other threats.
Firewall features for network virtualization allow you to create segments within the system. Server virtualization storage on cloud services will save you from the risks of lost or corruputed data. Cloud services are also encrypted with high-end protocols that protect your data from various other threats. When data security is on the line, virtualization offers premium-level protection without many of the associated firewall costs.
Virtualization is a great way to reduce operational costs. With all the data stored on virtual servers or clouds, there’s hardly a need for physical systems or hardware, saving businesses a significant amount in waste, electricity and maintenance fees. In fact, 70% of senior executives support the integration of virtualization at some level across their organization, specifically for its time-saving properties. Virtualization also saves companies a significant amount of server space, which can then be utilized to further improve daily operations.
Smoother IT operations
Virtual networks help IT professionals improve efficiency in the workplace. These networks are easy to operate and faster to process, eliminating downtime and helping you save progress in real time. Before virtual networks were introduced in the digital world, technical workers could take days, sometimes weeks, to create and sufficiently support the same data across physical servers.
Apart from the operations, virtualization also helps IT support teams solve critical, sometimes nuanced technical problems in cloud computing environments. Because data is always available on a virtual server, technicians don’t have to waste time recovering files from crashed or corrupted devices.