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Mobile virtualization Hardware virtualization or platform virtualization refers to the creation of a virtual machine that acts like a real computer with an operating system. Software executed on these virtual machines is separated from the underlying hardware resources.
For example, a computer that is running Microsoft Windows may host a virtual machine that looks like a computer with the Ubuntu Linux operating system; Ubuntu-based software can be run on the virtual machine.
The words host and guest are used to distinguish the software that runs on the physical machine from the software that runs on the virtual machine. The software or firmware that creates a virtual machine on the host hardware is called a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor.
Different types of hardware virtualization include: Guest programs need to be specifically modified to run in this environment. Hardware-assisted virtualization is a way of improving overall efficiency of virtualization.
It involves CPUs that provide support for virtualization in hardware, and other hardware components that help improve the performance of a guest environment.
Hardware virtualization can be viewed as part of an overall trend in enterprise IT that includes autonomic computinga scenario in which the IT environment will be able to manage itself based on perceived activity, and utility computingin which computer processing power is seen as a utility that clients can pay for only as needed.
The usual goal of virtualization is to centralize administrative tasks while improving scalability and overall hardware-resource utilization.
With virtualization, several operating systems can be run in parallel on a single central processing unit CPU. This parallelism tends to reduce overhead costs and differs from multitasking, which involves running several programs on the same OS.
Using virtualization, an enterprise can better manage updates and rapid changes to the operating system and applications without disrupting the user.
Hardware virtualization is not the same as hardware emulation. In hardware emulation, a piece of hardware imitates another, while in hardware virtualization, a hypervisor a piece of software imitates a particular piece of computer hardware or the entire computer.
Furthermore, a hypervisor is not the same as an emulator ; both are computer programs that imitate hardware, but their domain of use in language differs. Snapshot computer storage A snapshot is a state of a virtual machine, and generally its storage devices, at an exact point in time.
A snapshot enables the virtual machine's state at the time of the snapshot to be restored later, effectively undoing any changes that occurred afterwards. This capability is useful as a backup technique, for example, prior to performing a risky operation. Virtual machines frequently use virtual disks for their storage; in a very simple example, a gigabyte hard disk drive is simulated with a gigabyte flat file.
Any requests by the VM for a location on its physical disk are transparently translated into an operation on the corresponding file. Once such a translation layer is present, however, it is possible to intercept the operations and send them to different files, depending on various criteria.
Every time a snapshot is taken, a new file is created, and used as an overlay for its predecessors. New data is written to the topmost overlay; reading existing data, however, needs the overlay hierarchy to be scanned, resulting in accessing the most recent version.
Thus, the entire stack of snapshots is virtually a single coherent disk; in that sense, creating snapshots works similarly to the incremental backup technique.
Other components of a virtual machine can also be included in a snapshot, such as the contents of its random-access memory RAMBIOS settings, or its configuration settings. Restoring a snapshot consists of discarding or disregarding all overlay layers that are added after that snapshot, and directing all new changes to a new overlay.
Migration virtualization The snapshots described above can be moved to another host machine with its own hypervisor; when the VM is temporarily stopped, snapshotted, moved, and then resumed on the new host, this is known as migration. If the older snapshots are kept in sync regularly, this operation can be quite fast, and allow the VM to provide uninterrupted service while its prior physical host is, for example, taken down for physical maintenance.
Failover Similar to the migration mechanism described above, failover allows the VM to continue operations if the host fails.Featured. McKinsey Global Institute Our mission is to help leaders in multiple sectors develop a deeper understanding of the global economy.
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