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Virtualization: Basic concept

Publication Date: 09/24/2021

1 Environment

  • File Name: concept-virtualization.xml
  • ID: environment-virtualization

This document applies to the following products and product versions:

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP3, 15 SP2, 15 SP1, 15 GA, 12 SP5, 12 SP4, 12 SP3

2 What is virtualization?

  • File Name: concept-virtualization.xml
  • ID: what-is-virtualization

Virtualization is a technology that provides a way for a machine (VM Host Server) to run another operating system (VM Guest) on top of the host operating system.

3 How does virtualization work?

  • File Name: concept-virtualization.xml
  • ID: how-it-works-virtualization

The primary component of VM Host Server that enables virtualization is a hypervisor. Hypervisor is a layer of software that runs directly on VM Host Server's hardware. It controls platform resources, sharing them among multiple VM Guests and their operating systems by presenting virtualized hardware interfaces to each VM Guest. PRODUCT offers two types of hypervisors: KVM and Xen.

A general schema of virtualization
Figure 1: A general schema of virtualization

4 Benefits of virtualization

  • File Name: concept-virtualization.xml
  • ID: benefits-virtualization

Virtualization brings a lot of advantages while providing the same service as a hardware server.

First, it reduces the cost of your infrastructure. Servers are mainly used to provide a service to a customer. A virtualized operating system can provide the same service but with the following advantages.

  • Less hardware: You can run several operating system on one host, so all hardware maintenance will be reduced.

  • Less power/cooling: Less hardware means you do not need to invest more in electric power, backup power, and cooling if you need more service.

  • Save space: Your data center space will be saved because you do not need more hardware servers (less servers than service running).

  • Less management: Using a VM Guest simplifies the administration of your infrastructure.

  • Agility and productivity: Virtualization provides migration capabilities, live migration and snapshots. These features reduce downtime, and bring an easy way to move your service from one place to another without any service interruption.

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