Virtual Machines (VMs)
What is a Virtual Machine?
A virtual machine (VM), also known as a virtual server, is a fully-fledged computer that mimics or emulates a physical computer and has its own hardware and software. Virtual machines don’t necessarily live within a server on a 1:1 ratio; often, several virtual machines can live within a single server.
What’s the difference between a virtual machine and a physical server?
To the outside world, there isn’t an obvious difference between a physical server and a virtual machine. Although the virtual machine provides functionality that is similar to that of a physical computer, there is no interaction between the virtual machine and the host unless a hypervisor is implemented.
A hypervisor (also called a virtual machine monitor) is a lightweight software layer that handles mapping your computer’s resources into virtual hardware. Using a hypervisor allows you to allocate parts of your CPU, RAM, storage disk, and other components so that a virtual machine can use them to run properly.
What are the benefits of using virtual machines?
Virtual machines were originally developed to enable users to run multiple operating systems, allowing for time-sharing among several single-tasking operating systems. However, there are several other benefits to running a virtual machine, including:
- Ability to test unproven software that is in development
- Improved debugging and faster rebooting
- Streamlined process to deploy software
- Testing environment that is a mirror image of your production environment
- Ability to run single purpose virtual machine to support a database, authentication services or log aggregation
- Ability to create high availability clusters and reduce downtime
HPE and virtual machines
HPE provides several support options for virtual machines through HPE Infosight, which delivers AI-powered autonomous operations to help drive deep visibility and eliminate guesswork with VM- and data-centric analytics.
HPE also offers intelligent cloud and storage solutions for virtual machines through HPE Nimble Storage and VDI as a service through HPE Greenlake. HPE GreenLake is an IT-as-a-service offering that brings the cloud experience to your on-premises infrastructure and unifies your edges, clouds, and data centers.