Virtual machine technology should be an integral part of every organization’s strategy. By embracing this revolutionary technology, businesses gain cost-effectiveness, enhanced IT functionalities, improved dependability and adaptability, and greater control over surging IT demands.
Before implementing virtual machine technology, it is crucial to understand its processes and benefits. Neglecting this may lead to costly delays and financial losses on IT projects. Despite initial complexities, many users tend to find virtual machine technology less difficult than they anticipated. However, the level of complexity depends on the type of technology utilized.
Firstly, let us establish a clear definition of the term “virtual machine technology”.
The first and foremost step is to address the most critical issue. Virtual machine technology allows your IT department to create virtual machines that operate within a host environment.
Let’s say, for instance, that a server incorporates a virtual machine platform to operate multiple guests using virtual machine management software like Linux. To accomplish this, the host system must have adequate resources to support the chosen number of guests. In this particular situation, the host system runs on Windows server, whereas the virtual machine management solution is implemented on it.
The most prominent financial advantage of using virtual machines is obvious. By using a single computer to run multiple operating systems instead of purchasing individual machines for each, substantial cost reductions can be achieved. This stands as one of the primary benefits of virtual machines.
The following step is to determine the type of technology used to configure these virtual machines.
What is the meaning of the term “Hypervisor”?
The software responsible for regulating and administering virtual machines is known as a hypervisor. The two most prevalent types of hypervisors are:
- Type 1 hypervisors, commonly referred to as bare metal hypervisors, operate without the need for a complete operating system.
- The second variation of hypervisor, referred to as a hosted hypervisor, functions within an already-existing operating system.
Every hypervisor comes with its own set of benefits and limitations. Type 1 Hypervisors, which operate without the need for a conventional operating system, can liberate additional system resources for the virtual machines to use. Although Type 1 Hypervisors may appear intricate, Type 2 Hypervisors, on the other hand, are simpler to operate.
The ultimate selection of which hypervisor type to use will depend on the processing capabilities of the host server, the resource necessities of the virtual machines, and the technical proficiency of your IT team in administering the more sophisticated Type 1 Hypervisor.
Type 1 Hypervisors
If you opt for the Type 1 route, there are several excellent alternatives to choose from.
Using ESX/ESXi with VMware vSphere
VMware vSphere utilizing ESX/ESXi is a well-known illustration of a Type 1 Hypervisor. VMware has long been at the forefront of virtual machines. Their solutions are commercially robust and competitively priced. vSphere features a multitude of benefits, including a smaller footprint, enhanced security, the ability to construct hosts with up to 128 vCPUs and 6 TB of RAM, role-specific access, comprehensive logging and auditing, and compatibility with a wide variety of OEM hardware.
Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is an extensive virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware that necessitates virtualization extensions such as Intel VT or AMD-V to function. As a complimentary and open-source alternative to VMware, KVM offers numerous features, including live migration, scheduling, resource management, kernel same-page merging, CPU hotplug support, and the capacity for nested guests.
Microsoft’s Virtualization Software.
Microsoft Hyper-V is a popular Type 1 Hypervisor, esteemed despite lacking certain features found in VMware. If you seek a zero-cost alternative, one is available, but if you require additional graphical user interface and advanced capabilities, like live migration and dynamic memory, you will have to purchase a license.
Type 2 Virtual Machine Managers (VMMs)
Type 2 hypervisors are gaining popularity in the lower tiers of IT infrastructure due to their ease of use and the ability to install and run them like any other program. Here are a few of the frequently used Type 2 Hypervisors.
Oracle VM’s VirtualBox
VirtualBox from Oracle is an open-source, cost-free virtualization platform that can host many guest virtual machines. Its features, such as PXE Network boot, snapshots, virtual networks, and cloning, make it an excellent option for individual engineers and small businesses utilizing virtual machines on a local area network (LAN), accommodating guests with up to 32 vCPUs.
Virtual PC by Microsoft
VMware Workstation Pro, provided by the company, is a Type 2 Hypervisor. With its advanced features and smooth integration with VMware vSphere, this solution simplifies the migration of desktop virtualization solutions to the cloud.
Utilities that allow for Creation of Multiple Desktops at Once
For development environments requiring virtual machine technology or simultaneous operation of multiple operating systems on macOS, Parallels Desktop is an excellent solution. Recently updated to support the latest hardware, including Apple’s M1 processor, Parallels allows for seamless switching between two OSes without disturbing the Mac’s performance. The Parallels platform enables the creation of virtual machines for both Windows and Linux operating systems.
Ultimately, your requirements determine the ideal hypervisor for you. Consider VMware vSphere or KVM for faster performance. Selecting a Type 2 hypervisor, such as VMware Workstation Pro or Oracle VM VirtualBox, and prioritizing user friendliness. Making an informed decision is crucial to prevent wastage of both time and money.