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pecialized software called a hypervisor emulates the PC client or server's CPU, memory, hard

disk, network and other hardware resources completely, enabling virtual machines to share the
resources. The hypervisor can emulate multiple virtual hardware platforms that are isolated from
each other, allowing virtual machines to run Linux and Windows server operating systems on the
same underlying physical host. Virtualization saves costs by reducing the need for physical
hardware systems. Virtual machines more efficiently use hardware, which lowers the quantities
of hardware and associated maintenance costs, and reduces power and cooling demand. They
also ease management because virtual hardware does not fail. Administrators can take advantage
of virtual environments to simplify backups, disaster recovery, new deployments and basic
system administration tasks.
Virtual machines do not require specialized hypervisor-specific hardware. Virtualization does
however require more bandwidth, storage and processing capacity than a traditional server or
desktop if the physical hardware is going to host multiple running virtual machines. VMs can
easily move, be copied and reassigned between host servers to optimize hardware resource
utilization. Because VMs on a physical host can consume unequal resource quantities (one may
hog the available physical storage while another stores little), IT professionals must balance VMs
with available resources.

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Coupling virtualization and storage

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The prescriptive nature of converged infrastructure
Cloud computing layers additional technologies such as self-service provisioning and chargeback
onto virtualization. For example, in a virtualized data center, the IT staff will spin up new virtual
machines based on user demand or a new project. In a cloud environment, a user can provision
virtual machines from a self-service catalog and specify resources without interacting with the
underlying physical equipment.

many of which can be addressed through general systems administration best practices and tools that are designed to manage VMs. but do not have the same maturity or support options as these vendor offerings. such as programming languages and environments. which creates independent environments for use by operating systems and applications designed to run directly on server or client hardware. While these cost savings increase as more virtual machines share the same hardware platform. There are some risks to consolidation. but if the hardware platform fails it could take out dozens or hundreds of virtual machines. While a bit of a late player to virtualization. it does add risk. also use the same concepts and also use the term "virtual machine.The use of virtual machines also comes with several important management considerations."  Margaret Rouse asks: What is the highest number of virtual machines you've seen sharing one physical host? . including overtaxing resources or potentially experiencing outages on multiple VMs due to one physical hardware outage. VMware has a mature product portfolio with many years of use in the IT industry. Numerous other technologies. Microsoft is showing considerable progress. Many IT shops host noncritical applications on Microsoft VMs because the virtualization environment costs less than VMware's offerings. Several vendors offer virtual machine software but two main vendors dominate in the marketplace: VMware and Microsoft. It is possible to place hundreds of virtual machines on the same hardware. Note: This entry refers to the term virtual machine (VM) as it applies to virtualization technology. Several open-source alternatives are evolving rapidly with new features and increased stability.