A so-called virtual machine (VM) refers to the software-based implementation of a simulated computer environment in which an operating system (OS) or various programs can be installed and executed. By emulating the virtual machine, the physical IT environment is simulated and all requests to CPU, memory, hard drives and other resources are controlled by the virtualization layer above. The generation process of virtual machines usually takes place within the host file system (e.g. VMFS). Usually with the help of a so-called hypervisor or a virtualization platform, which enables the execution of operating, server or client systems. This enables a large number of different isolated VM environments. The guest software used (operating systems, programs) is not able to recognize whether they are installed on a virtualized hardware simulation or a real computer environment.
The manifold advantage of virtual systems is, among other things, that a hardware-hungry IT environment with many subsystems can be greatly reduced in terms of costs. In addition, the isolated systems do not affect other system environments, such as. B. the host or other VM. There are also completely new possibilities in terms of administration and administration effort, backup strategies or disaster recovery solutions.