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Virtualization 101: PC Virtualization Definition and Benefits

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

PC Virtualization allows us to use one computer as an outlet to use several computers by utilizing virtualization software. VMWare, Citrix, Parallels, VirtualBox, and Microsoft are a few examples of the choices we have in virtualization software. VMWare is the most popular virtualization software vendor. It has several products and technical resources for the user to make the most of one machine. Their products run on Mac, Windows and Unix/Linus platforms. Parallels is the first commercial virtualization tool that could run on Mac OS hosts, but they also have consumer products for Windows and Linux hosts. Microsoft also offers many virtualization tools for Windows desktops and servers.


The way that virtualization software works is that the new software platform will run simply as an application on one's computer platform. Users  just install the new operating system into the current software which will then allow that operating system to run within the software as a guest while the main operating system performs the role of the host. Each server will work as a unique operating system, but conveniently one can use each guest system on one single computer. For example, a computer may run a Windows platform, two Linux servers, and three other Windows servers totaling six servers accessible simultaneously. 

Running these different operating systems using only one computer is a type of software emulation as it imitates or reproduces the other systems. Software used to produce virtual machines acts as a layer between the computer's main operating system and the virtual operating system. By doing this, the virtual machine can access a computer hardware such as the RAM, CPU, and video card. Along with convenience, there are many other benefits to PC virtualization.


PC Virtualization increases efficiency by saving on hardware costs, conserving energy, improving management ease, and reducing backup and recovery time. By using PC virtualization software, one does not need several different computers to run multiple operating systems. This is the same idea as being able to run several applications on one's computer. Just as this is now a familiar concept, PC virtualization is growing into wider use.

PC Virtualization can save people money on energy bills because it helps -- especially enterprise users -- minimize operating costs since the costs of running a server in a datacenter is more than the actual cost of acquiring the datacenter. The fact that virtual machines save energy is important, but the way it helps make management easier is significant.

Management becomes simpler when using  virtualization as it's much easier, more time efficient, and money-saving to use this software. For example, instead of having to power down a machine, install hardware, verify change, and power-up again, one can just use a management console application for hardware upgrades, saving more time. Furthermore, since one can typically manage virtual machines using the same console, less overall time is necessary to deploy them. Another equally impressive characteristic with virtual machines is their backup and recovery time.

As virtual machines are like files on one's computer, backing them up and restoring them is much easier and much faster than it is to back up and restore several individual machines. Though these files are large, it's still much easier to handle than a real machine.


Overall, PC virtualization definitely improves the ease of managing several machines by allowing one to do so through one machine. If one had to close an application in order to use another one, only being able to run one at a time, application use would be much more difficult. PC virtualization is allowing the same ease in running several machines as there is in running several applications at once.



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