In computing, virtualization is the process of abstracting a resource beyond its physical form. Many types of technologies can be virtualized, including servers, storage devices, networks, and applications, which is why virtualization has become associated with a wide variety of computing technologies.

When a resource is virtualized, an operating system divides it into one or more execution environments, like when a hard drive is partitioned to create two separate hard drive spaces. Devices, applications, and users are able to interact with the virtual resource as if it were a single logical resource.

Types of virtualization

As mentioned above, many types of technologies can be virtualized, but they all typically fall under one of five primary categories:

Virtualization vendors

There are several software vendors that enable each of the types of virtualization listed above. Prominent vendors include:


Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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