Virtual Machine and its Benefits | Parallels Insights

What is a Virtual Machine?

As the name suggests, a virtual machine (VM) is a virtual environment that simulates a physical machine. VMs have their own central processing unit (CPU), memory, network interface, and storage, but they are independent of physical hardware. Multiple VMs can coexist in a single physical machine without collision, as long as the hardware resources are efficiently distributed. VMs are implemented using software emulation and hardware virtualization.

Virtual Machine Types

There are two types of virtual machines organizations can use:

Process Virtual Machine

Also known as an application virtual machine, a process virtual machine supports a single process or application to run on a host OS. It is used to mask the underlying hardware or OS and execute the application just like other native applications. It is often used to provide a platform-independent programming environment. For example, Java applications are implemented using Java virtual machines (JVM). Another example is Wine software, which helps Windows applications run on Linux  

Types of Virtualizations

All the components of an IT infrastructure or traditional data center can be virtualized today, with diverse kinds of virtualization being offered:

System Virtual Machine

A system virtual machine, or hardware virtual machine, virtualizes a complete operating system and can be used as a substitute for a physical machine. A system virtual machine shares the physical resources of the host machine but has its own OS. The virtualization process runs on a hypervisor or a virtual machine monitor running on bare hardware (native virtual machine), or on top of an OS (hosted virtual machine). VirtualBox and VMware ESXi are both examples of a system virtual machine. 

Benefits of Using a Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is essentially a computer within a computer. VMs have several advantages:

Challenges in Using a Virtual Machine

VMs have a huge number of advantages, especially when people need to run more than one operating system in a single physical device. However, there are several challenges associated with using VMs:

Similarities and Differences Between a Virtual machine and a Container 

A container is a standardized unit of software that includes the code along with all its dependencies, such as system libraries, system tools, and settings. Containerized applications can be deployed quickly and reliably across all types of infrastructure. A virtual machine and a container both isolate applications so they can run on any platform. But a virtual machine differs from a container in that it virtualizes hardware to run multiple OS on a single machine. In contrast, a container packages a single application with all its dependencies so it can run on any OS.  

Virtual machines run on a hypervisor and include a separate OS image, while containers on a single host share the host’s OS kernel. This makes containers extremely lightweight and reduces the management overhead as compared to virtual machines. Their portability makes them perfect for web applications and microservices. Virtual machines are not as lightweight and may take more time to boot, but they have their own OS kernel and are best suited for running multiple applications simultaneously or for legacy applications that require an older OS. Virtual machines and containers can also be used together. 

How Parallels RAS helps

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a leading virtualization solution that offers both application and desktop delivery under a single license. This all-in-one solution eliminates the need for additional hardware components. With a minimal learning curve and user-friendly interface, you don’t need experts to deploy and use Parallels RAS. Parallels RAS offers prebuilt templates to deploy to the cloud, allows auto-scaling of resources, and supports a wide range of major hypervisors. It also reduces data-loss risks and malicious activity by using policies that limit access based on user, location, group permission, and device.

Parallels RAS supports Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, and multifactor authentication (MFA) for added security. Its unified and intuitive management console, configuration wizards, and customizable tools can easily configure the remote desktop and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions.

Experience how Parallels RAS overcomes the challenges of deploying virtual machines!

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