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What is a Virtual Machine (VM)?

by Iwan Price-Evans on Architecture • May 17, 2022

A virtual machine (VM) is an operating system that runs on top of another operating system. Virtual machines allow you to run multiple operating systems at the same time. This means you can use different operating systems for different tasks without having to install each one separately.

Types of VMs

There are two main types of VM: full virtualization and paravirtualization.

  1. Full virtualization involves running a complete operating system inside a computer.
  2. Paravirtualization uses a special type of software called a hypervisor to emulate the hardware of a host computer.

What Are The Benefits Of Using VMs?

VMs allow you to use different operating systems at once without having to install them separately. This means you can test out new versions of Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X before installing them on your primary computer.

You can also run multiple independent systems on the same physical hardware. This is called co-location.

You also have more control over how much memory each operating system has access to.

What Are The Drawbacks To Using Them?

There are some drawbacks to using VMs.

  1. VMs require additional hardware.
  2. VMs take up space on your hard drive.
  3. VMs aren’t as secure as running software directly on your main operating system.
  4. VMs can slow down your computer.
  5. VMs can be expensive.

What Do Companies Use VMs For?

There are several business use cases for VMs, including:

  1. Running multiple application servers, for example, to scale-out their public-facing services or to scale-out internal infrastructure like Exchange servers or load balancers running in VMs.
  2. Providing employees with remote access to virtual terminals.
  3. Creating test environments to test new applications and new versions.

How Do You Manage VMs?

You can manage multiple VMs using VM manager, also called a hypervisor. A VM manager creates, manages, and governs multiple VMs, including monitoring the availability, performance, and status of the VMs.

VMware Workstation and Microsoft Hyper-V are popular options for managing VMs.

You can distribute and secure traffic between multiple VMs using a load balancer and web application firewall.

Does Snapt Help You Manage VM Traffic?

Yes. Snapt Nova provides load balancing and security on-demand to application running in any combination of VMs, containers, or bare metal servers, hosted on-premises on in public cloud and multi-cloud environments.

Snapt Nova automatically scales your application services using a centralized control plane, real-time monitoring, and automation powered by machine learning.