In computing, virtualization means to create a virtual version of a device or resource, such as a server, storage device, or even an operating system where the framework divides the resource into one or more execution environments (webopedia.com, 2014). Virtualization was invented by IBM in the 1960’s (Jansen, 2013). The first operating system that was shipped by IBM that included this software was in 1966 and in 1999, a startup called VMware released a product called VMware workstation. This product worked on regular PCs running Linux or Windows, and was targeted at developers and testers (Jansen, 2013). In 2001, everything changed when VMware release VMware ESX server. This server virtualization is a web technique which is used within enterprises to consolidate or integrate multiple physical servers into one. Along with server virtualization, desktop virtualization has been available since early 2000 but has seen slow growth in the market until the rise of cloud and BYOD (Presciutti, 2014). Although there are many reasons that led to the creation of virtualization, cost reduction and
space seems to be the two biggest catalysts. Generally speaking, in order to virtualize, a person must utilize a layer of software that would provide the illusion of a “real” machine to multiple instances of “virtual machines”.
Due to the fact that the number of physical servers is declining, companies are starting to save a lot of money. Firstly, they consume less electricity, both for the servers and cooling systems, and again, they take up a much smaller footprint. Something as simple as partitioning a hard drive is considered virtualization, since you are taking one drive and making it function as two hard drives. At this point the part the petitioned drive is able to interact with and be interacted with by devices, applications and human users as if it were a real single, logical resource. As a new catchword that is making its way through the IT field, virtualization actually applies to many computing technologies, such as storage virtualization, server virtualization, operating system-level virtualization, network virtualization, and application virtualization (webopedia.com, 2014). For further reference:
• Storage virtualization is the amalgamation of multiple network storage devices into what appears to be a single storage unit,
• Server virtualization is the partitioning of a physical server into smaller virtual servers, much like described above,
• Operating system-level virtualization is a type of server virtualization technology which works at the operating system layer,
• Network visualization is using network resources through a logical segmentation of a single physical network, and
• Application virtualization is layered on top of other virtualization technologies to allow computing resources to be distributed dynamically in real time (webopedia.com, 2014).
Operating system virtualization actually got its start decades...