What is virtualization and what are the benefits of using a virtualization program
Virtualization software designates one machine as host and the rest as “guests.” The host is given access to all the hardware of the physical machine, and the guests are given access to a portion of it. This allows a virtualization program to create numerous computing environments on one machine, which you can use for a variety of purposes. In this article, we will focus on how to use virtualization software to get the best performance from your computer, how to “un-virtualize” a computer, and how to migrate data from one virtual machine to another.
How can a server be as powerful as a desktop when it’s housed in a rack in the basement? The answer lies in virtualization. Whether you are using x86 processors or PowerPC processors, you can use virtualization software to run dozens of machines on your desktop. The powerful virtualization software that comes with XenSource’s XenServer lets you create and manage a plethora of individualized computers, or virtual machines (VMs), each of which takes the load off the physical hardware and runs as a guest on the server.
How to install a virtualization program on your computer
You can install virtualization software directly from the CD, or from a vendor’s website. Some programs allow you to choose between installing the software on your hard drive or a partition on a disk. Some programs are bootable, which lets you run them independently of the main operating system. Most programs allow you to install on a machine that already has an operating system, and they offer compatibility with a variety of host and guest OSes (Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris).
1. Insert the CD into your CD drive, and follow the onscreen instructions to install.
2. If you are installing the software from a vendor’s website, download it first, then run the installation wizard.
3. When prompted, specify which physical hardware devices (such as CD and DVD drives) you want to appear in the virtualized OSes as emulated hardware devices.
4. Click Next to create a virtual machine, and then click Finish to start installing.
5. You can click the Start button in the virtual machine’s start menu, navigate to an application, and run it (this feature is supported only in certain versions).
6. After you have installed the software, save changes to your settings by clicking OK (this feature is not supported in certain versions).
7. If the software doesn’t run after installation, or if you want to remove it, click Exit to end the virtual machine.
Otherwise, click the Start button in the virtual machine’s start menu, navigate to an application, and run it.
How to create a virtual machine
When you’re ready to create a virtual machine, connect the guest’s network interfaces to the host’s network. Then install the guest’s operating system and select either a master or a slave disk image. Some virtualization programs include an image of a preconfigured environment. If you choose to create your own image, you’ll have to create or copy all the files that the guest OS needs. Then install the guest’s software in an isolated directory and connect a hard disk controller to it. Make sure you choose the correct virtualization program to access the disk controller. For example, use ESX/ESXi if you’re using VMware Workstation, Hyper-V if you’re using Hyper-V Virtual PC, or VirtualBox if you’re using VirtualBox.
Next, create a virtual disk for the guest’s operating system and data files. If you have enough disk space available on the host computer, choose a directory to store the virtual machine’s files that isn’t managed by your hypervisor. This way the guest OS can use it as long as it stays within memory limitations. For example, if you’re using VMware Workstation, access the Virtual Machine Settings dialog box. Then select the CD/DVD drive. In the settings window that appears, choose Use physical CD/DVD drive and store your virtual machine in a local directory on the host computer. Then choose Select or create disk, select a .vmdk format file and click Next to continue.
How to install an operating system on a virtual machine
Use the virtualization program to create a virtual machine and install guest OS files. You can use either an existing image from the vendor or create your own. Virtualization programs make it possible to run two different operating systems at once on the same physical computer, but you’ll need to know how to install an operating system on a virtual machine. If you’ve already installed the host OS on your machine, start by mounting the guest’s image as a disk or CD-ROM and following the appropriate steps to install it. Before you begin, however, make sure that all the necessary drivers for your guest operating system are on your computer. Some programs have an installation wizard and update utility that makes it easy to install an operating system on a virtual machine and create a driver disk for your computer.
How to install an operating system on a virtual machine [A] Learn how to install an operating system on a virtual machine. When you use VMware, you can create multiple virtual machines that run different operating systems. When you create a VM with VMware, click the “Add” button and select only one type of operating system; you cannot mix the two types of operating systems in the same VM. With VMware, you can create as many as 64 VMs on one computer. If you want to use different physical disks for each VM, you will need to install the virtualization software on each physical CPU.
How to use a virtual machine for work or school projects
The host operating system that you use will affect the performance of your virtual machine. Some virtualization programs take care of performance optimization for you by adjusting the memory and processor settings to match those on the host. You can use the virtual machine in a work or school environment to develop, test, and teach at different levels.
1. Create a virtual machine using your virtualization software [when you install the software, be sure to pay attention to the options and settings so you can configure your virtual machine correctly].
2. Install the operating system as required by your school or employer [pay attention to any activation requirements and use authentic media].
3. Test an application on the host system before installing it on the virtual machine [this allows you to see how it performs with other applications running before trying it within the virtual environment].
4. Test the virtual machine’s network connection [this ensures that it is running correctly and that you can connect to the Internet].
5. Run an application on the virtual machine [this lets you use the compact, secure environment when working on projects].