In the IT field, virtualization covers a wide range of technologies. Some systems that are commonly virtualized include operating systems, networks, applications, servers, data, storage, and hardware (or paravirtualization). The key benefits are more efficient and organized systems.
Virtualization can refer to separating large systems into smaller sandboxed components that don't interfere with each other. The term can also refer to formation of a larger, composite environment made of a number of smaller virtual systems.
Let’s look at the major types of virtualization services IT Companies offer:
1. Storage Virtualization. Multiple storage devices are combined into one virtual environment (VE) and function as one higher capacity storage space.
2. Data Virtualization. Multiple users access the same data from different physical locations. Data virtualization copies data across servers, maps it to the original locations, and allows users to view it from wherever they are.
3. Server/hardware Virtualization. This technology is mainly used for hosting customers. A VPS (virtual private server) allows a physical hardware server to store multiple virtual servers and applications, each with their own sandboxed memory and disk space, to ensure they don't interfere with each other.
4. Application Virtualization. Applications are separated from the operating system. This allows end users to run programs that are not installed directly on their client computers, but are executed as if they were.
5. Network Virtualization. Network administrators use this technology to combine all the resources within a network and share those resources across all users. The network is divided into different channels. Each channel uses a portion of the total bandwidth in the network.
6. Operating System Virtualization: Also known as container-based virtualization, the technology enables multiple operating systems to be run on a server Each component of the operating system functions within its own virtual server, with its own access and set of rules.
7. Paravirtualization. The combination of OS virtualization and hardware virtualization results in paravirtualization. With this technology, an OS running on a server can access the virtualization software to access or perform various functions on the hardware directly.