Virtual Machine Definition
Basic – Cloud Computing
Reading Time – 1 minute, 35 seconds
The virtual machine definition is a form of software that allows you to run an operating system (OS) within another operating system. A virtual machine(VM) creates an application environment that simulates the user experience of dedicated hardware. Let’s say you are running a Mac operating system on your current computer. By installing a Virtual machine manager software, you can run a Windows operating system also in the same machine and work on it as a real computer.
To run a VM inside your current operating system you need to install virtual machine management software. Specialized software called “hypervisor” which is running between the physical hardware and the virtual machine emulates the CPU, memory, network, and storage of a computer. It helps the VM to connect to the Internet and also handles all the hardware requests made by the virtual machine.
Why use a Virtual Machine?
Now that you know the virtual machine definition, it’s important to know his main uses. Virtual machines are used by the application developers and testers when it requires to test the compatibility of newly built software across multiple operating systems such as mac, windows, and Linux.
Another use is to run old or incompatible software. There are certain software applications such as computer games that are developed to run only on a specific operating system. For a user who needs to use such software, it is convenient to install a virtual machine with the compatible OS in the same machine and run the software in it.
Virtual machines are also used to try new operating systems. When new versions of operating systems are released you can use a VM to run the new OS to check the new features, how it operates and the user-friendliness of it in advance before you decide to install the new OS version in your machine.