Browse Definitions :
Definition

virtualization architecture

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A virtualization architecture is a conceptual model specifying the arrangement and interrelationships of the particular components involved in delivering a virtual -- rather than physical -- version of something, such as an operating system (OS), a server, a storage device or network resources.

The image below illustrates the difference between traditional computing architecture and a virtualization architecture.

Traditional server architecture vs. virtual architecture

Virtualization is commonly hypervisor-based. The hypervisor  isolates operating systems and applications from the underlying computer hardware so the host machine can run multiple virtual machines (VM) as guests that share the system's physical compute resources, such as processor cycles, memory space, network bandwidth and so on.

Type 1 hypervisors, sometimes called bare-metal hypervisors, run directly on top of the host system hardware. Bare-metal hypervisors offer high availability and resource management. Their direct access to system hardware enables better performancescalability and stability. Examples of type 1 hypervisors include Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and VMware ESXi.

A type 2 hypervisor, also known as a hosted hypervisor, is installed on top of the host operating system, rather than sitting directly on top of the hardware as the type 1 hypervisor does. Each guest OS or VM runs above the hypervisor. The convenience of a known host OS can ease system configuration and management tasks. However, the addition of a host OS layer can potentially limit performance and expose possible OS security flaws. Examples of type 2 hypervisors include VMware Workstation, Virtual PC and Oracle VM VirtualBox.

The main alternative to hypervisor-based virtualization is containerization. Operating system virtualization, for example, is a container-based kernel virtualization method. OS virtualization is similar to partitioning. In this architecture, an operating system is adapted so it functions as multiple, discrete systems, making it possible to deploy and run distributed applications without launching an entire VM for each one.  Instead, multiple isolated systems, called containers, are run on a single control host and all access a single kernel.

 

This was last updated in March 2017

Continue Reading About virtualization architecture

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

SearchSecurity

  • challenge-response authentication

    In information security, challenge-response authentication is a type of authentication protocol where one entity presents a ...

  • Secure Shell (SSH)

    SSH, also known as Secure Shell or Secure Socket Shell, is a network protocol that gives users, particularly system ...

  • honeypot (computing)

    A honeypot is a network-attached system set up as a decoy to lure cyberattackers and to detect, deflect or study hacking attempts...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized ...

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

SearchStorage

  • exbibyte (EiB)

    An exbibyte (EiB) is a unit used to measure data capacity.

  • zebibyte (ZiB)

    A zebibyte (ZiB) is a unit used to measure computing and storage capacity.

  • tiered storage

    Tiered storage is a way to assign different categories of data to various types of storage media with the objective of reducing ...

Close