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What is virtualisation?

Virtualisation creates a simulated, or virtual, computing environment as opposed to a physical environment. Virtualisation often includes computer-generated versions of hardware, operating systems, storage devices and more. This allows organisations to partition a single physical computer or server into several virtual machines. Each virtual machine can then interact independently and run different operating systems or applications while sharing the resources of a single host machine.

By creating multiple resources from a single computer or server, virtualisation improves scalability and workloads while resulting in the use of fewer overall servers, less energy consumption, and less infrastructure costs and maintenance. There are four main categories virtualisation falls into. The first is desktop virtualisation, which allows one centralised server to deliver and manage individualised desktops. The second is network virtualisation, designed to split network bandwidth into independent channels to then be assigned to specific servers or devices. The third category is software virtualisation, which separates applications from the hardware and operating system. And the fourth is storage virtualisation, which combines multiple network storage resources into a single storage device where multiple users may access it.

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