What Is Virtual Machine?

A virtual machine in computing refers to an emulation of a complete system on anther system. As it’s not physically the real system, it is called the virtual machine. It is one of the applications of Virtualization that help people develop and use multiple operating systems or system resources of one single machine. The machine on which you run the emulator or virtual machine is known as the host machine. One host machine can run more than one virtual machines depending upon its ability and hardware specifications. There was a time when virtual machines were only used at the commercial level for development and testing purposes. Now, virtualization is not only seen for developmental use but also for personal use like running two windows in one laptop or to install one operating system on the other operating system which was totally an impossible thing before the concept of virtualization.

There are many scenarios for which virtual machines are being used. Here are some of them.

1. Trying new operating system

Are you using the Intel chipset and unable to run Windows on your Mac? Using a virtual machine, you can run. Similarly, people try virtual machines to try the new operating systems and see what’s in there for them to use. Suppose you are developing an application for Ubuntu however you do not like to use Ubuntu as your primary operating system in your personal laptop. You do not need to uninstall your operating system and restrict yourself to use Ubuntu. You can simply install a virtual machine on your operating system and run Ubuntu on that.

2. Testing applications

Virtual machines and emulators are widely used for the testing and quality assurance purposes. Suppose you want to test a windows application but you use Mac as your operating system. Using window’s emulator or virtual machine, you can test and run the application.

3. Cost reduction

People from all over the world use Virtual machines to reduce the cost of hardware. In order to run multiple operating systems and perform various tasks, you do not need to buy different systems and hardware resources. Using virtual machines you can save the cost by doing all this work on one system only.

4. Portability

Everything that is portable is in fashion. Portability is the most attractive feature we see in anything when considering to buy it. Virtual machine takes portability a new level. Imagine you can use an operating system on your laptop and then copy in in your USB and can resume it on any system of the world anywhere? Virtual machines allow you to do that. You can use them at your home office and can carry them with you in your USB. They are not dependent upon host system. However hardware resources determine the efficiency and smooth running.

There are many other applications of virtual machines all over the world. People are using a virtual machine for various purposes to bring advancements in the world of information technology.