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Virtualization in brief

What is virtualization?

Virtualization refers to the process of running an operating system inside an operating system on a single hardware device. The operating system running inside an operating system is called a virtual instance or a virtual machine. It has its own image of the operating system, RAM, interface card, and hard disk.  

In this article, we will state a brief history of virtualization and talk about the two basic types of hypervisors. We will enlist various types of virtualization and discuss its benefits. Finally, we will talk a little about StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA).

History of virtualization

Virtualization pioneered in 1960 by International Business Machines (IBM), Bell Labs, and General Electric (GE) and it revolutionized the IT industry. Virtualization was based on the concept of time-sharing i.e. multiple machines can work concurrently at the very same time. However, it was very difficult for the IT organizations in those days to buy expensive hardware resources that can work concurrently. Therefore, virtualization technology proved to be a blessing in disguise and it totally changed the way computer systems worked in the past.

What is hypervisor?

A hypervisor is a piece of software, which is actually responsible for memory allocation, network bandwidth, processing etc.

There are the following two types of hypervisors:

  1. Type 1 or bare-metal hypervisor
  2. Type 2 or hosted hypervisor

1. Type 1 or bare-metal hypervisor

Type 1 or bare-metal hypervisor runs directly on the hardware. They are also referred to as a native or embedded hypervisor. They have higher performance.

2. Type 2 or hosted hypervisor

Type 2 or hosted supervisor runs as software on host operating system.

Type of virtualization

Following are the most common types of virtualization technology:

➢       Operating System Virtualization: In this type of virtualization, we create multiple virtual machines having different operating systems on the same physical machine.

➢       Storage Virtualization: In this type of virtualization, we create virtual storage instances in order to support the physical storage.

➢       Server Virtualization: In this type of virtualization, we create virtual servers in order to utilize the capacity of the physical server to the fullest.

➢       Application Virtualization: In this type of virtualization, we create virtualized versions of applications for testing purposes.

➢       Network Virtualization: Network virtualization is done to support the existing physical network infrastructure.

➢       Hardware Virtualization: In this type of virtualization, virtual instances of different hardware resources are created in order to save money spent on physical hardware resources.

Benefits of virtualization

There are the following benefits of virtualization.

  1. Reduces company's operating cost
  2. Minimizes or eliminates infrastructure downtime
  3. Eases administration
  4. Faster provisioning of applications

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA)

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) is a hardware device that is designed for the organizations who wish to minimize application downtime but are limited on IT team resources or budget. It offloads the responsibility of picking the right hardware and software, migrating the applications and integrating the HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) in your existing data center infrastructure from the customer’s shoulders.

The most exceptional feature of StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) is that it supports virtual tape library (VTL). With the help of this feature, you can easily migrate your backups to the VTL without worrying about space limitations. In this way, StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) supports virtualization.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed the origin of virtualization technology by stating its brief history. We studied the role of the hypervisor in virtualization and also talked about its types. We explained the different types of virtualization by stating their definitions and then shared some of the most important benefits of virtualization. Finally, we talked a little about StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) and gained the insight on how it supports the virtualization technology.

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