Virtualization Definition & Meaning

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:

 

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Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is a Nashville-based Content Writer for TechnologyAdvice, a full-service B2B media company. She is passionate about helping brands build genuine connections with their customers through relatable, research-based content. When she's not writing about technology, she's sharing her musings about fashion, cats, books, and skincare on her blog.

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