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Virtual machine lifecycle management (VMLM) is a set of processes designed to help administrators oversee the implementation, delivery, operation, and maintenance of virtual machines (VMs) over the course of their existence. A VM is a software implementation of a computing environment in which an operating system (OS) or program can be installed and run. The VM emulates a physical computing environment, but requests for resources are managed by a virtualization layer that translates the requests to the underlying hardware.
In many cases, a VM may outlast repeated upgrades to hardware, creating a so-called "immortal VM." The hypervisor is updated, but the VM keeps operating with no awareness of hardware evolution. As long as no hardware replacement crisis occurs, the VM keeps working more or less as it always has. In the long term, however, support grows unwieldy and needlessly expensive. An organization may have VMs running on several different major OS releases, requiring antivirus, security, asset management, monitoring, and other tools and staff to span all the versions.
- Virtual desktop installation
- Virtual desktop management
- Health and asset monitoring
- Connection brokering
- Thin client management
- Deleting superfluous VMs
- Optimizing storage utilization
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- Paul Rubens discusses the usefulness of virtual machine lifecycle management in a business environment.