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Learn how to use a Virtual Machine

Imagine a computer that exists entirely within another computer. That’s the basic idea behind a virtual machine (VM). VMs are software programs that create a simulated computer system with its own CPU, memory, storage, and operating system.

Think of it like this: your physical computer is a landlord, and VMs are its tenants. Each VM acts as a separate apartment within the building, with its own set of rules and functionalities. This allows you to run multiple operating systems and programs on a single physical machine, just like different tenants can live in the same building. Here at 5wire Networks, our Virtual Machines are Cloud Servers because of the high availability and flexible environment they are hosted in.

But what exactly can VMs do?

VMs offer a surprising range of benefits:

  • Run Incompatible Software: Need a program designed for Windows but you have a Mac? VMs allow you to install a virtual Windows machine and run the program within that environment.
  • Testing Ground: VMs provide a safe and isolated space to test new software or updates. If something goes wrong within the VM, it won’t affect your main system.
  • Resource Efficiency: Businesses can consolidate multiple physical servers into VMs, saving space and energy costs. VMs can be easily scaled up or down based on processing needs.
  • Increased Security: VMs can be used to create secure sandbox environments for sensitive tasks, like online banking or malware analysis.

How do VMs work?

VMs rely on a program called a hypervisor, which acts as the building manager. The hypervisor allocates resources from the physical machine (CPU, memory, storage) to each VM (tenant). It ensures VMs run smoothly and don’t interfere with each other or the main system.

VMs: A Powerful Tool for Many Uses

Virtual machines offer a powerful and versatile way to get more out of your existing hardware. Whether you’re a home user running a specific program or a business looking to optimise resources, VMs can be a valuable tool in your computing arsenal.

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