Virtual Machines by Bob Dionne

What is a Virtual Machine?

A virtual machine is a type of computer application used to create a virtual environment, which is referred to as virtualization. Virtualization allows the user to see the infrastructure of a network through a process of aggregation. Virtualization may also be used to run multiple operating systems at the same time. Through the help of a virtual machine, the user can operate software located on the computer platform. There are several different types of virtual machines. Most commonly, the term is used to refer to hardware virtual machine software, also known as a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor. This type of software makes it possible to perform multiple identical executions on one computer. In turn, each of these executions runs an operating system. This allows multiple applications to be run on different operating systems, even those they were not originally intended for.

Virtual machines can also be referred to as application software. With this type of software, the application is isolated from the computer being used. This software is intended to be used on a number of computer platforms. This makes it unnecessary to create separate versions of the same software for different operating systems and computers. Java Virtual Machine is a very well known example of an application virtual machine. A virtual machine can also be a virtual environment, which is also known as a virtual private server. A virtual environment is used for running programs at the user level. Therefore, it is used solely for applications and not for drivers or operating system kernels. A virtual machine may also be a group of computers that work together to create a more powerful machine. In this type of machine, the software makes it possible for one environment to be formed throughout several computers. This makes it appear to the end user as if he or she is using a single computer, when there are actually numerous computers at work.

What is Virtual PC?

A virtual PC is a type of virtual machine meant to run multiple Windows environments on a Windows 7 desktop. There is no real difference between a virtual PC and a virtual machine, except that virtual machines such as Virtual Box are able to run many different types of operating systems. It is a good idea to make sure that you have at least the minimum system requirements, and even better if you have the recommended requirements. RAM is a big issue when using virtualization to run an operating system as a guest. You must have enough RAM to support both your native operating system and its guest.

Fun with Virtual Machines

Virtualbox from Sun Microsystems seems very cool. VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD. I looked at the demo on-line and it seems pretty user friendly.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License