Data that’s spread all over can be consolidated into a single source. Data virtualization allows companies to treat data as a dynamic supply—providing processing capabilities that can bring together data from multiple sources, easily accommodate new data sources, and transform data according to user needs. Data virtualization tools sit in front of multiple data sources and allows them to be treated as single source, delivering the needed data—in the required form—at the right time to any application or user.
Easily confused with operating system virtualization—which allows you to deploy multiple operating systems on a single machine—desktop virtualization allows a central administrator (or automated administration tool) to deploy simulated desktop environments to hundreds of physical machines at once. Unlike traditional desktop environments that are physically installed, configured, and updated on each machine, desktop virtualization allows admins to perform mass configurations, updates, and security checks on all virtual desktops.
Servers are computers designed to process a high volume of specific tasks really well so other computers—like laptops and desktops—can do a variety of other tasks. Virtualizing a server lets it to do more of those specific functions and involves partitioning it so that the components can be used to serve multiple functions.
Operating system virtualization
Operating system virtualization happens at the kernel—the central task managers of operating systems. It’s a useful way to run Linux and Windows environments side-by-side. Enterprises can also push virtual operating systems to computers, which:
- Reduces bulk hardware costs, since the computers don’t require such high out-of-the-box capabilities.
- Increases security, since all virtual instances can be monitored and isolated.
- Limits time spent on IT services like software updates.
Network functions virtualization
Network functions virtualization (NFV) separates a network's key functions (like directory services, file sharing, and IP configuration) so they can be distributed among environments. Once software functions are independent of the physical machines they once lived on, specific functions can be packaged together into a new network and assigned to an environment. Virtualizing networks reduces the number of physical components—like switches, routers, servers, cables, and hubs—that are needed to create multiple, independent networks, and it’s particularly popular in the telecommunications industry.