Virtualization: By definition, it's a moving target

At VMWorld, ZDNet's Sam Diaz asked some people for their quick definition of virtualization, and everyone he spoke with had his or her own definition for the word.

This is a guest post from Sam Diaz of TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet. You can follow Sam on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

I posted a video clip of some VMWorld coverage that I shot with my handy-dandy FlipCam. But once I handed over my footage to the editing team, I wasn't quite done playing - so I headed back out to Moscone for some more footage.

A colleague made a suggestion of something that could be kind of fun - go around and ask people for their quick definition of "virtualization," the big buzz word at VMWorld. So that's what I did. It came as no big shock that everyone I spoke with had his or her own definition for the word.

These video experiments are still kind of new for me - so, please forgive shaking hands or a stuttering narrator. I'm working on getting better.



Honestly for the most part all but one were saying the same thing just in different ways.


In my opinion Virtualization is using a real person or living target and transforming it into a computer graphic as to virtual reality. Wikipedia describes it as below. In computing, virtualization (sometimes abbreviated v12n) is a term that refers to the abstraction of computer resources: Virtual machine (VM), a software implementation of a machine (computer) that executes programs like a real machine Platform virtualization, which separates an operating system from the underlying platform resources Full virtualization, sensitive instructions replaced by binary translation or trapped by hardware - all software can run in the VM, e.g. IBM's CP/CMS, VirtualBox, VMware Workstation Hardware-assisted virtualization, CPU traps sensitive instructions - runs unmodified guest OS; used e.g. by VMware Workstation, Xen, KVM Partial virtualization, for specific applications rather than the operating system Paravirtualization, a virtualization technique that presents a software interface to virtual machines that is similar, but not identical, to that of the underlying hardware, thereby requiring guest operating systems to be adapted Operating system-level virtualization, a method where the operating system allows for multiple user-space instances (virtual hosting, chroot jail + resource management) Application virtualization, the hosting of individual applications on alien hardware/software Portable application, a computer software program that runs from a removable storage device as a USB flash drive Cross-platform virtualization, allows software compiled for a specific CPU and operating system to run unmodified on different CPUs and/or operating systems Virtual appliance, a virtual machine image designed to run on a virtualization platform Emulation or simulation Virtual memory, which allows uniform, contiguous addressing of physically separate and non-contiguous memory and disk areas Storage virtualization, the process of completely abstracting logical storage from physical storage Network virtualization, creation of a virtualised network addressing space within or across network subnets Virtual private network (VPN), a computer network in which some of the links between nodes are carried by open connections or virtual circuits in some larger network(s), such as the Internet Memory virtualization, aggregates RAM resources from networked systems into virtualized memory pool Desktop virtualization, the remote manipulation of a computer desktop Timeline of virtualization development, further work in this area This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.