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What is Virtualisation?

By VAR1016 ·
I was recommended to download VMWare, which I did. I subsequently uninstalled it because it doesn't tell me what it is - at least not in any way that I can recognise/understand. They keep sending me nice emails hoping I'm getting on with it (VM converter, virtual server etc.) and I thought I would try to find out something.

I looked up Wikipedia and got this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtualisation. This tells me zero - just a lot of choices I do not recognise/understand except disk partitioning, which I do not understand but at least know how to use!

How can a computer be "virtual"? Either it's there or it isn't. Something has to work the numbers and store the stuff and so on.

Can anyone point me to a site that explains this in normal language?

Thanks

Paul

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All Answers

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You haven't missed the point Paul ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Good stuff

You would create a virtual space for the PC inside the PC (horrible description but nevertheless accurate).

When you run the VMM software, you designate a portion of your ACTUAL hard drive that will be set aside for use by the VMM. Within that designated space (you now have to think of the virtual system) the virtual system will exist.

Imagine you had 5 balloons with each inside the next except you were able to inflate them in reverse order. So you inflate the big balloon that is the one you can see, then you inflate the next one down which is inside the big one, then inflate the next one down that is inside the one that is inside the big one. And so on down the line of balloons. Just like those little Russian wooden dolls.

Back to the hard drive: VMM has designated an area of hard drive space for your virtual PC. Your virtual PC has access to your CD/DVD drive, your floppy, and it has its own hard drive (which is a bit of the space that VMM allocated for the Virtual-PC.

With the Virtual-PC on your screen, you install XP-Home just as you would normally, except it is only available for use by the virtual system. Each of the Russian dolls contains air that is inside that doll only!

Even when the doll is inside another doll, the air in each doll is specific to that doll, not the doll that the doll is inside.

Biggest doll is A, smaller doll is B, even smaller doll is C.

The air inside doll C, belongs to doll C even although doll C is inside doll B which in turn is inside doll A. Get It ??

So the hard drive that your virtual XP-Home is installed on, belongs to the vitual PC which exists inside your own bigger PC. But your bigger PC can't access the reserved space because it only exists inside the virtual PC.

Whew - I'm in serious need of a stiff drink! :)

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More Good Stuff

by VAR1016 In reply to You haven't missed the po ...

Thanks for that.

For me it was reassuring that one does have
to install the OS into the virtual computer
and also that it really uses real resources.

I cannot see an application for it, but at
least now I have an idea.

Paul

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You should also be aware

by Jacky Howe In reply to What is Virtualisation?

that each Virtual PC that you create is using up your Hard Drive space. If you allocate 1GB to a win98 Virtual PC you will lose 1GB of hard Drive space. If you install XP you will have to make a bigger Virtual Drive to accomodate it. I really dont think that you need to go down this track Paul.
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Hard Drive Space

by VAR1016 In reply to You should also be aware

Thanks Rob.

As I wrote in my reply to Old Mycroft, I am
quite reassured that this sort of thing
actually uses resources!

As you say, I don't need to use this - I
cannot see any application - as I have no
programming skills, cannot design/construct a
website and HTML is a closed book!

But at least now I have an idea about
virtualisation.


Best wishes

Paul

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That's great

by Jacky Howe In reply to Hard Drive Space

you learn something new every day. and you are right it does use resources and you need a bit of RAM.

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