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In the minds of many IT professionals, the idea of virtualization conjures up thoughts of hypervisors and the consolidation of Operating Systems (OSs) onto virtual hosts. For many, virtualization embodies technologies that abstract OSs from their hardware. Physical resources are emulated in one fashion or another to isolate virtual machines from the hosts they reside upon. At the same time, those virtual hosts provide resources for the processing of virtual machine needs. Requests for resources are proxied through that hypervisor layer, incurring an overhead cost in the translation from virtual to physical and back again. But this definition of virtualization is only one possibility, designed to support OS heterogeneity at the same time as server consolidation.
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