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Characteristics of Virtualization

Last Updated : 13 Apr, 2023
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Prerequisite – Virtualization In Cloud Computing and Types 

1. Increased Security – 

The ability to control the execution of a guest program in a completely transparent manner opens new possibilities for delivering a secure, controlled execution environment. All the operations of the guest programs are generally performed against the virtual machine, which then translates and applies them to the host programs. 
A virtual machine manager can control and filter the activity of the guest programs, thus preventing some harmful operations from being performed. Resources exposed by the host can then be hidden or simply protected from the guest. Increased security is a requirement when dealing with untrusted code. 
Example-1: Untrusted code can be analyzed in Cuckoo sandboxes environment. 
The term sandbox identifies an isolated execution environment where instructions can be filtered and blocked before being translated and executed in the real execution environment. 
Example-2: The expression sandboxed version of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) refers to a particular configuration of the JVM where, by means of security policy, instructions that are considered potentially harmful can be blocked. 

2. Managed Execution – 

In particular, sharing, aggregation, emulation, and isolation are the most relevant features. 


Functions enabled by a managed execution 

Functions enabled by a managed execution 

3. Sharing – 

Virtualization allows the creation of a separate computing environment within the same host. This basic feature is used to reduce the number of active servers and limit power consumption. 

4. Aggregation – 

It is possible to share physical resources among several guests, but virtualization also allows aggregation, which is the opposite process. A group of separate hosts can be tied together and represented to guests as a single virtual host. This functionality is implemented with cluster management software, which harnesses the physical resources of a homogeneous group of machines and represents them as a single resource. 

5. Emulation – 

Guest programs are executed within an environment that is controlled by the virtualization layer, which ultimately is a program. Also, a completely different environment with respect to the host can be emulated, thus allowing the execution of guest programs requiring specific characteristics that are not present in the physical host. 

6. Isolation – 

Virtualization allows providing guests—whether they are operating systems, applications, or other entities—with a completely separate environment, in which they are executed. The guest program performs its activity by interacting with an abstraction layer, which provides access to the underlying resources. The virtual machine can filter the activity of the guest and prevent harmful operations against the host. 

Besides these characteristics, another important capability enabled by virtualization is performance tuning. This feature is a reality at present, given the considerable advances in hardware and software supporting virtualization. It becomes easier to control the performance of the guest by finely tuning the properties of the resources exposed through the virtual environment. This capability provides a means to effectively implement a quality-of-service (QoS) infrastructure. 

7. Portability – 

The concept of portability applies in different ways according to the specific type of virtualization considered.
In the case of a hardware virtualization solution, the guest is packaged into a virtual image that, in most cases, can be safely moved and executed on top of different virtual machines. 
In the case of programming-level virtualization, as implemented by the JVM or the .NET runtime, the binary code representing application components (jars or assemblies) can run without any recompilation on any implementation of the corresponding virtual machine. 

8.Resource sharing:

 Virtualization allows multiple virtual machines to share the resources of a single physical machine, such as CPU, memory, storage, and network bandwidth. This improves hardware utilization and reduces the need for additional physical servers.


Virtualization allows IT administrators to quickly and easily create, modify, or delete virtual machines as needed, without the need to purchase and configure additional physical hardware.

11.Hardware independence: 

Virtual machines are hardware-independent, which means they can run on different types of physical hardware and can be easily moved between physical servers without needing to reconfigure the virtual machine.


 Virtualization allows organizations to scale their computing resources up or down as needed, depending on changing business requirements.


Virtualization provides centralized management tools that allow IT administrators to monitor and manage multiple virtual machines from a single console, making it easier to troubleshoot and maintain the virtualized environment.

virtualization provides a powerful and flexible technology that can help organizations maximize their hardware utilization, improve their IT infrastructure scalability, and simplify their IT management.

14.Disaster Recovery:

Virtualization enables organizations to implement disaster recovery solutions more easily and cost-effectively. By replicating virtual machines to remote sites, organizations can quickly recover from a disaster and resume operations.

15.Testing and Development:

Virtualization allows organizations to easily create test and development environments without the need for additional physical hardware. This enables developers to test new applications and configurations in a controlled environment before deploying them to production.

16.Energy Efficiency:

Virtualization can help organizations reduce their energy consumption by consolidating multiple physical servers onto a single machine. This can result in lower electricity bills and a reduced carbon footprint.

17.Increased Uptime:

Virtualization can help improve system uptime by enabling virtual machines to be migrated to different physical hosts in the event of a hardware failure. This can minimize downtime and prevent data loss.

18.Cost Savings:

Virtualization can help organizations save money by reducing the need for additional physical hardware, lowering electricity bills, and streamlining IT operations. This can result in significant cost savings over time.

19.Improved Security Management:

Virtualization can help organizations improve their security posture by isolating applications and workloads from each other. This can prevent security breaches from spreading to other parts of the environment and reduce the attack surface.

20.Cloud Migration:

Virtualization can be a stepping stone for organizations looking to migrate to the cloud. By virtualizing their existing infrastructure, organizations can make it easier to move workloads to the cloud and take advantage of cloud-based services.


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