What is … A virtual machine? – IBM Developer

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What is … A virtual machine?

About this video

Virtual machines were the driving force behind cloud computing and revolutionized the IT landscape, but what are they? This video explains what they’re all about.

If you want to learn more about virtual machines, check out the tutorials, code patterns, datasets, models and more on the Cloud hub on IBM Developer.

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Transcript for this video

Hi, I’m Ed. So what is a Virtual Machine?

The easiest way to understand a virtual machine is to think of it as a computer inside a computer. A physical server or computer, often referred to as the “host machine,” is separated into smaller “guest machines” through a process called virtualization.

Virtualization allows the physical and software systems of the host machine to be separated into isolated groups. This means that the host can run multiple virtual machines, each of which might be running totally different workloads or operating systems.

Each individual virtual machine behaves exactly as though it were its own computer. It has its own operating system, memory, storage, and compute and is totally unaware of other virtual machines that could be running on the same host.

Virtual machines are stored as “images” when they are not running. These images are a collection of files that serve as a template for reproducing the virtual machine.