Virtualization how-tos and learning guides Definitions

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  • B

    bare metal environment

    A bare metal environment is a computer system or network in which a virtual machine is installed directly on hardware rather than within the host operating system (OS)... (Continued)

  • E

    early adopter

    An early adopter is a person who embraces new technology before most other people do. Early adopters tend to buy or try out new hardware items and programs, and new versions of existing programs, sooner than most of their peers. According to a theory called Diffusion of Innovations (DoI) formulated by Everett Rogers, early adopters make up 13.5 percent of the population.

  • G

    guest virtual machine (guest VM)

    A guest virtual machine (guest VM) is the software component of a virtual machine (VM), an independent instance of an operating system (called a guest operating system) and its associated software and information.

  • H

    host virtual machine (host VM)

    A host virtual machine is the server component of a virtual machine (VM), the underlying hardware that provides computing resources to support a particular guest virtual machine (guest VM).

  • hypervisor

    A hypervisor is a function which abstracts -- isolates -- operating systems and applications from the underlying computer hardware.

  • M

    memory overcommit (or overcommitment)

    Memory overcommit (or overcommitment) is a hypervisor feature that allows a virtual machine (VM) to use more memory space than the physical host has available.

  • N

    nested virtualization

    Nested virtualization describes the process of running a hypervisor within another hypervisor.

  • O

    Our Favorite Technology Blogs

    A comprehensive listing of information technology-related blogs selected by the editors of WhatIs.com that cover selected industry verticals and technologies.

  • P

    Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM)

    Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) is a program that enables distributed computing among networked computers on different platforms, so that they can perform as a single, large unit for computer-intensive applications... (Continued)

  • paravirtualization

    Paravirtualization is an enhancement of virtualization technology in which a guest OS is recompiled prior to installation inside a virtual machine... (Continued)

  • platform

    A computer platform is an underlying computer system on which application programs can run, or, in general, any base of technologies on which other technologies or processes are built.

  • S

    SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) 

    SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) is a 32- and 64-bit microprocessor architecture from Sun Microsystems that is based on reduced instruction set computing (RISC).

  • V

    virtual

    In computing, virtual is a digitally replicated version of something real. The replication, which is created with software, may not be an exact copy of the real thing, but it is similar enough in essence to be described as a digital rendition.

  • virtual file system (VFS)

    A virtual file system (VFS) is programming that forms an interface between an operating system's kernel and a more concrete file system. 

  • virtual machine (VM)

    A virtual machine (VM) is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications.

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