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Hardware Virtualization: All you need to know

Hardware Virtualization is the complete abstraction of the various computing resources from the software while operating in the cloud. It involves the virtual machine software that is embedded in the server. The operating system is converted into a distinct one, also called the hypervisor that can run and function inside the virtual machine. It is an evolving technology mainly used in server platforms by integrating several servers in a single physical server.

What is Hardware Virtualization?

Hardware virtualization, which is also known as server virtualization or simply virtualization, is the abstraction of computing resources from the software that uses those resources.

In a traditional physical computing environment, software such as an operating system (OS) or enterprise application has direct access to the underlying computer hardware and components, including the processor, memory, storage, certain chipsets, and OS driver versions.

This posed major headaches for software configuration and made it difficult to move or reinstall software on different hardware, such as restoring backups after a fault or disaster.

hardware virtualization

How does it work?

Hardware virtualization enables a single physical machine to function as multiple machines by creating simulated environments. The physical host uses software called a hypervisor that creates an abstraction layer between the software and hardware and manages the shared physical hardware resources between the guest and host operating systems. The hypervisor connects directly to the hardware and enables it to be split into multiple distinct environments or virtual machines. These VMs use the resources of the physical host, including CPU, memory, and storage, which are allocated to the guests as needed. When done for server platforms, hardware virtualization is called server virtualization. Hardware virtualization makes it possible to use a physical machine’s full capacity and, by isolating VMs from one another, to protect against malware.

The benefits of hardware virtualization 

  • Lower Cost: Because of server consolidation, the cost decreases; now, multiple OS can exist together in a single hardware. This minimizes the quantity of rack space, reduces the number of servers, and eventually drops the power consumption.
  • Efficient resource utilization: Physical resources can be shared among virtual machines. Another virtual machine can use the unused resources allocated by one virtual machine in case of any need.
  • Increase IT flexibility: The quick development of hardware resources became possible using virtualization, and the resources can be managed consistently also.
  • Advanced Hardware Virtualization features: With the advancement of modern hypervisors, highly complex operations maximize the abstraction of hardware & ensure maximum uptime. This technique helps to migrate an ongoing virtual machine from one host to another host dynamically.

hardware virtualization

Types of Hardware Virtualization

  • Full Virtualization – In this type of Hardware Virtualization, there is no need for any physical modifications to execute the applications as the hardware architecture simulates that of an environment where a normal operating system is running on a server. Here, the compatibility function allows the system administrators to integrate the existing and the new system set-up to manage the application more efficiently.
  • Emulation Virtualization – In this type of Hardware Virtualization, the guest operating system does not require any modifications as the Virtual Machine assists in simulating the hardware components. In this setup, the hardware acts as architectural support that manages and runs the virtual machines efficiently.
  • Para-virtualization – In this type of Hardware Virtualization, the software runs an isolated system by utilizing an API that helps in modifying the guest operating system. Here, the hardware components are not simulated while the hypervisor uses memory management in order to execute a set of commands and helps in running the system.

Conclusion

With more and more organizations migrating their hardware resources to virtualization, it becomes increasingly necessary to understand the real market trend and the value that it can help generate for your businesses. Organizations need to analyze the impact it can have on their value-system. By recognizing the existing and future demands from their business processes they can take an informed decision to go virtualization of their businesses.

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