7 virtualization models

7 virtualization models

With all the industry hoopla surrounding virtualization, keeping track of what the technology is and isn't can be tough. Here research firm Enterprise Management Associates helps out with conceptual models of seven types of virtualization.

Operating system virtualization

Multiple logical (or virtual) operating systems run on top of a fully functioning base, or host, operating system. A standard Windows or Linux operating system typically serves as the host while a virtual machine manager runs multiple guest operating systems.

Source: Enterprise Management Associates

Server virtualization

Here the base hardware is virtualized, allowing multiple guest operating systems to run directly on top of the hardware without requiring a complete host operating system. Virtualization software typically runs on the base hardware and the operating systems will be installed onto that software. While most commonly used for larger servers, this type of virtualization applies to desktop environments, too.

Source: Enterprise Management Associates

Application virtualization

An application is provided to a user, generally from a remote location like a central server, without a complete installation on the local machine. This differs from a traditional client-server operation in that the application is not necessarily designed to be used by multiple users at one time. Each user gets a fully functional application environment, with few or no components being shared in the runtime environment.

Source: Enterprise Management Associates

Local desktop virtualization

In general, with desktop virtualization the user gets access to any authorized application (Web, local or server-based) from a single interface, regardless of where that application resides. In the case of local desktop virtualization, the virtual desktop is hosted locally and the user gets access to both local and remote applications.

Source: Enterprise Management Associates

Remote desktop virtualization

With this type of desktop virtualization, the virtual desktop is hosted remotely on a central server. The user gets access only to the applications available remotely.

Source: Enterprise Management Associates

Storage virtualization

With storage virtualization, many users or applications can access storage without being concerned with where that storage is physically located or how it is managed. Typically this technology applies to larger storage-area network or network-attached storage arrays, but also can be used to the logical partitioning of a local desktop hard drive.

Source: Enterprise Management Associates

Data virtualization

This type of virtualization abstracts the source of individual data items — including entire files, database contents, document metadata, messaging information and more — and provides a common data access layer for different data access methods (SQL, XML, JDBC, etc.). This access layer interprets calls from any application using a single protocol, and translates the application request to the specific protocols required to store and retrieve data from any supported data storage method. This means applications can access data with a single methodology, regardless of how or where the data is stored.

Source: Enterprise Management Associates