Introduction to Virtualization

Have you ever come across the term virtual machine or “VM” and scratched your head in bewilderment? If so, then you are assuredly in the right place, this article will begin breaking down some higher-level virtualization concepts, before setting the stage for future publications building on our previous works.

VMware has emerged a dominant player in a macro tech landscape trending ever more towards virtualization. VMware offers a free hypervisor software called Virtual Box. Virtual Box is relatively straightforward to use, and allows for boundless experiments for the curious computer scientist.

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This article is the primer content for Data Savers LLC’s new series of articles on virtualization. To be strictly technically accurate, the series will be primarily concerned with data storage virtualization and virtual machine data recovery, but for any readers who are eager to learn more about virtual machines, you are in the right place!

We are going to operate under the assumption that anyone who is reading about virtual machines on Data Savers LLC .com is familiar with basic computer terminology (hardware, software, operating system, etc). A majority of our readers will be familiar with those concepts, but if you happen to be the exception to the rule, we suggest heading over to VMware.com and spending some time exploring the VMware Glossary.

What is a Virtual Machine?

A virtual machine is very similar to the countless physical computers in use around the world. The major difference is that your computers (i.e. smartphone, laptop, desktop, etc). utilize physical hardware to support an operating system, and a virtual machine emulates hardware that is capable of supporting an operating system. This operating system is launched / controlled by a hypervisor / host machine / virtualization server.

What to Expect from Data Savers LLC’s Virtualization Series?

This series of articles will explore the process of launching Linux virtual machines from an Apple laptop running the most recent MacOS Ventura and a PC running various Linux distributions. While the Data Savers LLC marketing department is capable of operating advanced hardware, the fact of the matter is that no marketing department (outside of possibly VMware’s own) needs dedicated virtualization hardware for the purpose of tutorials and examples. As such, all of our tests will be conducted with type 2 hypervisors like VMware Virtual Box or Gnome Boxes.

It would be perfectly normal if the concept of virtualization is still confusing to you after reading this. Many computer science concepts are abstract, and the concepts surrounding virtual machines are no exception. While the Data Savers LLC virtualization series will not be made up of consecutive postings, be sure to check back for more content!