What is Virtualization?

by The Editor [Published on 2 June 2008 / Last Updated on 2 June 2008]

An answer to what virtualization is and why most people talk about server virtualization.

Virtualization is a general and ambiguous term that typically means to run multiple instances of something inside something that was intended to only run a single instance.

When most people talk about virtualization, they are usually referring to server virtualization. With server virtualization, you can run multiple operating systems inside a single physical server.  For example, with a server virtualization product you could run, say, 5 Windows Server and 5 Linux servers on one physical server - with all servers functioning as if they are on their own hardware. In another example, you could run 1 Linux Workstation and 1 Windows Workstation on your office PC, each in their own environment, by using a server virtualization product.

Figure 1: Image Source: VMware.com

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