Tuesday, November 27, 2007
While virtual machines are related to virtualization, those are slightly different things. Virtualization generally refers to creating a virtual instance of a computer that runs inside of another operating system. For instance, Macintosh users that need to run Windows software may use an inexpensive program such as Parallels or VMWare to create a Windows instance. This allows the user to run both OSX and Windows at the same time. The best part is that since intel based macintoshes have hardware virtualization support, the speed is almost as fast as if you were running the operating system on it's own machine. That is assuming that you have enough ram. With a Virtual Machine, however, you are actually emulating a non-existant processor. Actually, there are Java processors, but I haven't seen them and don't know how they compare speed wise to running a virtual machine on a fast processor.