17 Virtualization

The word virtual can be vague in computing systems. It’s used primarily to indicate an intermediary that translates a complex or fragmented underlying layer to a simplified interface that can be used by multiple consumers. Consider an example that we’ve already seen, virtual memory, which allows multiple processes to access a large bank of memory as if each had its own insulated bank of memory.

That definition is still a bit daunting, so it might be better to explain the typical purpose of virtualization: creating isolated environments so that you can get multiple systems to run without clashing.

Because virtual machines ...

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