In our the previous post we seen what is Virtualization and how is it useful in utilizing resources to the extent. In this post we will see what are the different types of virtualization available in Linux.

Virtualization is divided broadly in two types

1)Level of virtualization(like full or partial or para virtualization)

2)Types of Virtualization(like storage or application or network or desktop/server virtualization)

Level of Virtualization: This is defined as how your VM interacts with physical hardware. Depends on it’s access to direct hardware, virtualization can be divided as follows

  • Full virtualization
  • Partial virtualization
  • Para-virtualization

Full Virtualization: This a concept where your hardware completely support virtualization. We no need to modify any specific software or hardware to make your VM’s work properly. KVM, VMware ESX/ESXi servers are totally depends on hardware compatibility They work only on hardware which supports Virtualization at hardware level. Most of the Intel/AMD chips now a days supports virtualization. If you are buying an Intel processor for your server/desktop check if “Intel VT-x” is present in specs or not. And for AMD check for “AMD SVM”. Check if your machines supports installing KVM or not here.

Partial Virtualization: Here only some parts of hardware can be virtually simulated so that they can be used as real hardware for VM’s.

Paravirtualization: This type of virtualization is implemented where your Hardware is not at all supported. By using para-virtualization we have to create domains so that VM works in simulated environment without direct interaction of actual hardware. XEN is good example of this type of Virtualization. XEN creates it’s own dom’s to isolated VM from hardware.

Types of Virtualization : This is defined as what hardware we can virtualized. We have many types of virtualization as show below.

  • Storage virtualization
  • Network Virtualization
  • Security Virtualization
  • Memory Virtualization
  • Data virtualization

I will leave this to readers to explore above mention virtualization as they are straight forward to understand. There are some organisations which trying hard to bring all these technologies under one roof. One classic example is vBlock development.

Do you know about vBlock?

This is a product from Industry leaders in Networking(Cisco), Storage(EMC) and Virtualization(VMware). What is the specialty about this device is, it virtualized Network, Storage and Systems in to single block. Please have a look at their site here and for details here.

Stay tuned to our next topic on “Advantages of Virtualization”