virtualizationIn the IT industry there are so many buzz words used by professionals that it’s hard to keep up. One of the most popular words used is “virtualization. ”

Before delving into the various types of virtualizations, it is important to understand the concept of virtualization and how this solution can revamp the IT industry.


What is Virtualization – Virtualization is a broad term that refers to computer resources. Virtualization hides the physical characteristics of computer resources which are configured on a single device or server.



  • Server
  • Client/Desktop/ Application
  • Network

Let’s define each virtualization and show the benefits and limitations of each.

Server – Configured on one physical machine that is divided into many virtual servers. Some types of virtual servers include Windows, Linux, or other operating systems.


  • Reduced Hardware – Only one machine is needed, eliminating multiple servers, and wiring.
  • Access – Easy for programmers and technicians to access operating systems without installing on individual desktop computers.


  • Administration/Training – Server maintenance may require training and familiarity of hardware and software for administrators.
  • Licensing Cost – Software licensing is sold in single packages. For example, running 4 copies of Windows on a virtual machine requires 4 separate licensees. This could drive costs up.
  • Performance – Resources such as RAM and CPU on a physical machine run much slower causing slow response time.

Application and Desktop

Application -Application virtualization is the technique of separating the applications. It enables applications to run on PCs without actually being installed on them, and to be administered from a central location.


  • Management – Applications can be managed and patched from a central location.
  • Legacy Support – Legacy applications can run on newer operating systems that they were not originally designed for.
  • Access – Applications can be installed on demand from central locations.


  • Packaging – Applications must be packaged (bundled) before they can be used.
  • Resources – Applications may require more computer resources (storage, CPU, and RAM).
  • Compatibility – Not all applications can be virtualized easily.

Desktop – Desktop virtualization is considered a type of client-server computing model because the “virtualized” desktop is stored on a centralized, or remote, server and not the physical machine being virtualized.


  • High Availability – Down-time can be minimized with replication and fault- tolerant hosted configurations.
  • Multiple Desktops -Able to access multiple computers suited for various tasks from the same computer.

Limitations – Similar to server virtualization technology plus, clients must have network connectivity to access virtual desktops.

Network – Network virtualization is the process of combining hardware and software network resources and network functionally into a single software based entity. Some examples are a virtual private network (VPN), and virtual LANS or VLANS.


  • Customization – Administrators can quickly customize network options for specific needs.
  • Consolidation – Physical networks can be combined into one virtual network for simplification of management.

Limitations – Similar to server virtualization technology.

Please feel free to forward this information to others.  If you would like to learn more on this topic or would like to request an area of technology you are interested in, please contact me.


About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at

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