Virtual Machine, virtual machine, or just VM is a concept widely used in computing to obtain greater performance safely.
But in practice, do you know exactly how this tool works?
In short, we can say that VMs are “computers within computers”. However, with some specific operational procedures in the way.
Among them is the use of software known as a hypervisor, which allows the creation of a digital environment inside hardware.
Follow, in this article, all the details about the virtual machine concept, the ways to apply it and everything it can deliver in terms of performance and security for your business.
What is a virtual machine?
A Virtual Machine (VM) is a powerful computing environment that allows the user to run multiple operating systems, software programs, and networks on a single piece of hardware.
It operates separately from the physical (host) device, and each VM offers its own unique configuration and characteristics.
Using VMs offers many advantages, such as portability, high security, optimized resource utilization, and reduced equipment costs.
A virtual machine can simplify complex IT environments by wrapping all configurations in a single, organized package.
If you’re looking for the efficiency of multiple PCs without raising costs, trying out a Virtual Machine could be a promising avenue.
What are the characteristics of a virtual machine?
Virtual machines are useful tools that can benefit corporate operations in countless ways.
They provide flexibility, convenience, and efficiency when working with different software systems or digital environments.
It also lets you switch between them easily and without the need to implement additional hardware.
VMs create a simulation of a dedicated computer system, allowing multiple operating systems and programs to run on the same physical device.
They also have the ability to securely partition data in their simulated environment, saving time and money.
A virtual machine’s ability to run multiple programs simultaneously without compromising performance makes it an attractive solution for those who need a reliable computing experience.
Even the operating systems can be different.
For example, if your employees use Windows, but you want to store data on Linux, both systems can coexist seamlessly in different VMs.
How does a virtual machine work?
To create a VM inside hardware, you need a hypervisor, which is virtualization software.
Currently, there are several platforms, quite sophisticated, to create these operating systems that are indistinguishable from native systems in terms of functionality.
Through a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor, it is possible to create several “guest VMs” on a single hardware that will share its resources.
Since guest VMs use a single server, your operations will need less processing to achieve the same operational efficiency.
Virtualization and hypervisors: understand the concepts
About hypervisors, it is important to point out that they are key pieces for machine virtualization.
However, there are two types that can be used to implement a virtual machine in your operation, which are:
Type 1 – Bare metal
Type 1, or bare metal, is when the hypervisor is installed directly on the machine to create guest VMs.
In the Linux operating system, there is the KVM hypervisor and in the most modern models, it is already installed and ready for use.
Type 2 – Hosted
In the hosted model, VMs are set up on a server and run on the .
That is, the hypervisor is inside a host and not directly on the hardware.
Many choose this mode for security, but the trend is to slow down guest VMs.
What is the purpose of a virtual machine?
The main use of a virtual machine is to make users have the best possible computing experience using the same machine.
Another point is security since with the use of a virtual machine there is the resource of snapshots, where a recovery point is created after modifications.
With this, it is possible to restore a VM in a few seconds without interrupting the operations of the other hosts in your company.
What can this solution are used for?
Basically, it can be used in any operation that needs more computational power at a low cost.
For example, with a VM, you can have hardware that runs on Linux with a Windows system or macOS running through virtual machines.
Virtual machine: advantages and disadvantages
The application of this tool in your business operation will bring advantages and disadvantages, it is important to understand them before making a decision.
Always consider which functions will work through the VMs and which applications will be needed to perform certain tasks.
Check out the characteristics of virtual machines:
One of the main advantages of VMs is that they allow you to make use of a computer without being tied to a physical location.
That is, for a company, the work environment can be much smaller since only one piece of hardware will be needed to host several virtual machines.
Reduced environments consequently demand fewer costs.
We can also highlight the flexibility, since you can have several systems on the same machine, and you can even isolate one of them for specific purposes.
With this, you can perform actions within a virtual machine without interfering with the main host’s operation.
It is also worth mentioning that data recovery in VMs is much more efficient, including the possibility of backups and system tests, without compromising the hard drive.
Finally, you will have a server consolidation, optimizing the physical resources of the machine and of course reaching an excellent computational performance with total security.
The main disadvantages of using virtual machines are directly related to the need for powerful hardware to support multiple systems.
If the hardware is not properly prepared, you may experience instability when multiple VMs operating simultaneously reach CPU overload thresholds.
Another negative point is that virtual machines tend to be a little slower than hosts, so their implementation is ideal for simpler operations.
Uses of applications that require a lot of computational power, such as video editors, for example, are not indicated for this type of tool.
Existing VM Types
There are essentially two types of virtual machines, processing, and system.
Each one will deliver a different functionality and below we will see the main distinctions:
These virtual environments run programs that do not depend on platforms, such as some day-to-day applications.
Applications that run in “portable” mode have a similar operation, as they have the resources of software without the need for installation.
In this model, the physical resources of the host are also shared with the guest VMs, therefore, it is a more complete format that will demand powerful hardware.
Types of virtualization used by virtual machines
The types of virtualization that virtual machines use will depend on the purposes of use in their operation.
To understand better, we can divide it into the following features:
This is the standard model, where a hypervisor is used to create VMs that can be on the same operating system as the hardware or on another one.
For example, a Linux machine can host a VM on macOS or Windows.
By taking advantage of the resources that the host hardware has, it is possible to virtualize software for the use of non-native applications and remote access to virtual applications.
This function serves primarily for data protection and consolidates information from physical hardware into virtual environments, which can be duplicated for greater cyber security.
In other words, if your hardware suffers from a ransomware attack, you can restore data without having to pay a ransom.
It’s a virtualization model so you can have remote access to your desktop on other machines.
In other words, it’s a virtual desktop that can be accessed from any device and from anywhere.
Finally, network virtualization provides the creation of subnets within the same server for different uses.
This maximizes performance for each user and automatically adjusts bandwidth for more efficient use.
For example, if someone is on a video call, they will need a subnet with more bandwidth, while the user who only needs access to data uses much less bandwidth.