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What is a Virtual Machine? – Work, Use, and More


A virtual machine (VM) is a virtual situation that functions as a virtual computing system with its CPU, memory, network interface, and storage. Still, it is created on a physical hardware system, on or off. The software system is called a hypervisor, which is in charge of separating the machine’s resources from the hardware system and implementing them properly so that the VM can use them.

Physical machines equipped with a hypervisor, such as the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM), are called host machines, host computers, host operating systems, or simply hosts. The various virtual machines that use their resources are guest machines, computer computers, operating systems, or simply guests. The hypervisor uses computing resources, such as CPU, memory, and storage. As a pool of media that can be easily redistributed between current guests or new virtual machines.

How do Virtual machine Work?

Virtual machine Work

Virtualization technology allows you to share one system with many virtual environments. The hypervisor manages the hardware system and separates physical resources from virtual environments. Resources are divided according to need, from the physical environment to the VMs.

When the VM is running and a user or program issues a statement that requires additional resources from the physical environment, the hypervisor schedules the request against the physical system resources so that the virtual machine’s operating system and applications can access the pool shared physical resources.

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Types of Hypervisors

For virtualization, two different types of hypervisors can be use.

Type 1

Type 1 hypervisors can found on computers without an operating system. The hypervisor schedules the VM’s resources directly on the hardware system. An example of a type 1 hypervisor is the KVM, which has merged into the Linux  kernel in 2007. So if you’re using an updated version of Linux, you can already access it.

type 2

Type 2 hypervisors can hosted. Virtual machine resources are schedule in a host operating system, which then runs on the hardware. VMware Workstation and Oracle VirtualBox are examples of type 2 hypervisors.

Why Should I Use a VM?

Server consolidation is one of the leading reasons to use VMs. Most application and operating system implementations use only a tiny amount of the available physical resources when used on a bare metal computer. By virtualizing your servers, you can put many virtual servers on each physical server to improve system hardware usage.

You don’t need to buy additional physical resources, like hard drives, or use as much power, space, and cooling in the data centre. In addition, VMs offer more disaster recovery options by enabling failover and redundancy. That previously could only be achieve with an additional hardware system.

A virtual machine provides an isolated environment from the rest of the system so that anything running inside a virtual machine will not interfere with anything else running on the host hardware.

What are Virtual Machines Use for?

It is all very well, but why would anyone want to create a virtual PC inside their PC? Although at first, it might seem like a somewhat trivial idea, the truth is that virtual machines have a wide variety of uses both in the professional environment and in the end consumer. These are the main uses:

To be Able to Test Other Operating Systems

Installing an operating system on your PC is a long, tedious process that is difficult to reverse if you are unsatisfied with the results. Thus, when there is a new version of Windows. It is easier and safer to test it by installing it on a virtual machine than on your hard drive. Then, if something goes wrong, you delete it, and it’s over without risking losing a lot of time or your data.

To Run Old Programs

What happens when your business relies on software that hasn’t been update in 20 years? If you cannot modernize the software, you have no choice but to continue loading it in an operating system of its time. This old system can run on current hardware instead of a junk PC with a virtual machine. The same can also applied to old games that have stop working on modern hardware or software.

To Use Applications Available for Other Systems

It is also possible that you need a virtual machine to run applications that have been develope for another operating system than the one you are using. For example, to use a Linux application from Windows, or vice versa.

To Test an Application on Different Systems

As an application developer, you want it to work correctly in as many configurations as possible. And that includes different versions of operating systems. One option is to have half a dozen PCs installed with varying versions of Windows or just one with virtual machines of each performance.

As Additional Security

Being isolate from the rest, a virtual machine provides you with additional security in precise tasks in which you want to be sure that an application will not have access to the rest of your data. That is why they are often use to doing things as dangerous as installing viruses and malware to study them.


A virtual machine is the virtualization/imitation of a computer system. Virtual machines can built on computer architectures and provide the functionality of a physical computer. Their applications may include specialized hardware, software, or a combination.

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