What Is a Virtual Machine in cloud computing? How does it works?

What Is a Virtual Machine in cloud computing? How does it works?

The virtualized representation of a physical computer that can operate in the cloud is a cloud virtual machine. It can perform all computing tasks, including running an operating system, storing data, connecting to networks, and more, just like a physical machine. Usually, a hypervisor will be running on the physical machine, and virtual machines will be running on top of the hypervisor. A software layer called a hypervisor makes it possible to virtualize an environment. The guest operating system is the operating system that is currently running in the virtual machine. Physical hardware, such as hard disc drives, processor chips, RAM, and other components, make up traditional computers. Computers require a sort of software called an operating system in order to make use of this hardware (OS). Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Android are a few common examples of operating systems.

The OS is responsible for managing the computer's hardware in a way that is beneficial to the user. For instance, if a user wishes to connect to the Internet, the OS instructs the network interface card to do so. The OS will create a partition on the hard disc if the user wants to download a file. Other software is managed and run by the OS as well. 

Ordinarily, there are one operating system for every physical computer. There is a single OS controlling the physical resources of each machine.

What is a Virtual Machine?

To execute applications and run programmes, a virtual machine (VM) uses software as opposed to a physical computer. On a physical "host" machine, one or more virtual "guest" machines are active. Even when they are all running on the same host, each virtual machine has its own operating system and operates independently of the others. This implies that a physical PC could, for instance, host a virtual MacOS machine. There are several application cases for virtual machine technologies in both on-premises and cloud contexts. In order to provide more cost-effective and flexible computation, public cloud services have more recently started employing virtual machines to deliver virtual application resources to multiple users simultaneously.

How does it work?

Through the use of virtualization technologies, virtual machines are made possible. Multiple virtual machines (VMs) can run on a single machine thanks to virtualization, which simulates virtual hardware using software. The real machine is referred to as the host, and any virtual machines running on it as the guests.

A hypervisor is a piece of software that controls this operation. The hypervisor is in charge of controlling and allocating resources, such as memory and storage, from the host to visitors. Additionally, it schedules VM operations to prevent resource overuse conflicts between them. Only the presence of a hypervisor to virtualize and distribute host resources makes VMs functional.


In virtualization, two different types of hypervisors are employed.

Type 1:

Known also as bare metal hypervisors, type 1 hypervisors are placed directly on the underlying physical hardware. To allocate hardware resources, VMs communicate directly with hosts without the use of additional software layers. Only type 1 hypervisors on host machines are used for virtualization. They can frequently be encountered in server-based settings like business datacenters. The Citrix Hypervisor and Microsoft Hyper-V are two examples of type 1 hypervisors. To manage guest actions like setting up new virtual machine instances or controlling permissions, a different management tool is required.

Type 2:

Type 2 hypervisors, often known as hosted hypervisors, work with the operating system of the host computer. The host operating system then allocates the proper physical resources to each guest after receiving VM requests from hosted hypervisors. The host operating system must be consulted before performing any VM actions, making type 2 hypervisors slower than type 1 counterparts. Guest operating systems are independent of the underlying hardware, in contrast to bare-metal hypervisors. Users can operate VMs while continuing to use their computers normally. Because of this, type 2 hypervisors are appropriate for home users and small businesses without dedicated servers for virtualization.


Using cloud virtual machines rather of real equipment has a number of benefits, including:

  1. Low cost: Purchasing a virtual machine in the cloud is less expensive than buying a physical one.
  1. Simple scalability: Depending on the load, we can quickly scale up or down a cloud virtual machine's infrastructure.
  1. Ease of setup and upkeep: Compared to purchasing physical hardware, spinning off virtual computers is quite simple. This facilitates a speedy setup for us.
  1. Shared accountability: The cloud service provider is now accountable for disaster recovery. We don't require a backup disaster recovery site in the event that our primary site is unavailable.


Compared to actual computers, virtual machines provide a number of advantages, but there are also some possible drawbacks:

  1. If infrastructure criteria are not met, running several virtual machines on one real computer may lead to unsteady performance.
  1. Compared to a full hardware computer, virtual machines are less effective and operate more slowly. 
  1. To balance the associated benefits and drawbacks, most businesses employ a mix of physical and virtual infrastructure.

Example: Citrix Virtualization Solutions

Citrix provides your business with the resources it needs to take advantage of virtualization software. You can streamline your infrastructure while providing users with the secure virtual workspaces they need to be productive from anywhere with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.


In cloud computing, virtual machines are ideally suited for managing instances. Understanding a virtual machine's operation is much easier once you are aware of its characteristics and types. This blog has discussed topics like its definition, types, most recent advancements, etc.

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