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A variety of technologies for managing computer resources by providing a software interface, known as an "abstraction layer," between the software (operating system and applications) and the hardware. Virtualization turns "physical" RAM and storage into "logical" resources. Following are the ways virtualization is used. See logical vs. physical.

Hardware Virtualization
Hardware virtualization is what most computer people are referring to when they talk about virtualization. It partitions the computer's RAM into separate and isolated "virtual machines" (VMs) simulating multiple computers within one physical computer. Hardware virtualization enables multiple copies of the same or different operating systems to run in the computer and prevents the OS and its applications in one VM from interfering with the OS and applications in another VM. See virtual machine and OS virtualization.

Network and Storage Virtualization
In a network, virtualization consolidates multiple devices into a logical view so they can be managed from a single console (see network virtualization). Virtualization also enables multiple storage devices to be accessed the same way no matter their type or location (see storage virtualization).

Application Virtualization
Numerous technologies fall under the umbrella of "application virtualization," some of which have been around for decades, while others are at the forefront. See application virtualization.

OS Virtualization
Under the control of one operating system, a server is split into "containers" that each handle an application. See OS virtualization.
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References in periodicals archive ?
As the size of the infrastructure grows, the aggregate storage behind the virtualization server contains many more storage processors and much more cache than the virtualization server.
Developed based on Hitachi's experience in virtualization technology nurtured on mainframes, the server virtualization system is made available on BladeSymphony, the company's service platform that integrates blade servers, storage units, networking equipment, operating systems and other system management software into a single package.
Basically a way to share hardware between applications, virtualization allows the "pooling" of resources that results in consolidating hardware, maximizing the use of the remaining hardware.
With the announcement, Hitachi is enabling companies of all sizes to truly realize the business benefits of Application Optimized Storage solutions, as now even the smallest companies can enjoy the benefits of virtualization by optimizing the performance of their most pressing business applications--such as Microsoft Exchange or Oracle Financials--utilizing the Logical Partitioning capabilities of Hitachi's integrated new fleet of midrange offerings.
The latest release from HTF MI highlights the key market trends impacting the growth of the Global Desktop Virtualization in Manufacturing market.
The latest release from HTF MI highlights the key market trends impacting the growth of the Global Network Functions Virtualization market.
While virtualization remains a key element of datacenter infrastructure, customer needs around the technology are rapidly evolving.
Red Hat Virtualization 4, the newest release from Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, helps address the increasing costs and complexities of proprietary virtualization solutions by providing a fully-open, high-performance, more secure and centralized management platform for both Linux- and Windows-based workloads.
Other advancements in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.6 build on Red Hat's recognized leadership for scale, performance and cost-effectiveness of virtual machine workloads with these new features:
Research scope of the global storage virtualization market
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-January 21, 2015-Thinspace develops virtualization solution with Smartcard technology