A virtual machine on Mac is like owning another computer but without any extra hardware. Yes, you can enjoy another desktop on your MacBook. Virtual means it is not present, and the machine is the computer itself. Thus, the virtual machine stays true to its name. 

You can transform into another desktop altogether with the help of this facility. With a virtual machine, you can run Linux or Windows or even a different macOS version than the one you are currently using. 

VMs: virtual computers within computers

A virtual machine on Mac is quite like any other physical form of computers, such as laptops or servers. 

It comes with a complete system that is a CPU, disk to store your documents, memory, etc. It can even connect to the internet if you require doing the same.

However, there is one significant difference. While computers need hardware to run, virtual computers are software-defined. Therefore, they exist only as code.

How does a virtual machine work?

To create a software-based or virtual version of a computer, you need to know how to go ahead with it. As mentioned earlier, it comes with a dedicated amount of CPU, memory, etcetera. These capabilities are generally borrowed from an actual physical computer. It is also borrowed from a remote server in some cases. A virtual machine is not a real computer but indeed behaves like one.

You can boot into a separate window with a completely different computing environment. It can be segregated from the rest of the system. In this regard, you have to know that the software inside a virtual machine cannot interfere with the host computer’s primary OS.

What is the purpose of using VMs?

Now, you must be wondering about the use of virtual machine. 

It is used in deploying applications to the cloud. It is also used for trying out a new OS, such as better releases.

The same is also used for backing up your current operating system or creating a new environment to make it faster and simpler for developers. With the help of virtual machines, developers can now run dev-test scenarios in a better way. It can also be used to analyze virus-infected data.

VM is also used for running an old application by installing an old operating system. Virtual machines are required for running applications on operating systems or running software that they were not primarily intended for.

What are the advantages of using virtual machines?

Virtual machines act like separate computers with individual operating systems and applications. The best part about using these virtual machines for running software is that they can remain independent of one another. 

You will be able to differentiate it from the physical host machine. The virtual machine manager, better known as a hypervisor, lets you use various kinds of OS on different virtual machines but simultaneously. Thus, you can run Linux, Windows OS, etc., on different virtual machines simultaneously.

They are also highly portable. With the help of a virtual machine manager, you can move one virtual machine to another quite seamlessly. Some of the benefits are as follows:

  • Reduced expenditure: You can decrease your physical infrastructure footprint if you can run different virtual environments from one computer. This will significantly reduce your overall costs, thus leading to more savings. While many do not take it seriously, using virtal machines is a great way to can enhance your profit margin. You can significantly reduce expenses on maintaining multiple servers. You can also save on your consumption bills.
  • Agility and speed: If someone wants to run dev-test scenarios, this is the perfect option as it allows quick transitions. Spinning up a virtual machine is relatively easy compared to making an entirely new environment for developers.
  • Lower downtime: Virtual machines are portable and easy to move, and this is why they are an excellent option for backup. So if the host goes down without any signal, you have a backup.
  • Scalability: Virtual machines provide access to scale your applications by adding more virtual servers or physical servers. This way is appropriate to distribute work across various VM channels. You can even increase the performance of applications as well.
  • Security benefits: Since virtual machines generally run on multiple OS, you can use the guest OS on a virtual machine to run applications. This will protect your host operating system. You might not know that virtual machines also come with better security forensics and are generally used to study computer viruses.

Is virtualization the same as a virtual machine?

While virtualization is a technology that involves creating a software-based version of something, a virtual machine is entirely different. Virtualization is often related to building a cloud computing strategy. The machines made using virtualization is commonly known as virtual machines.

What is a virtual machine manager or hypervisor?

This is again a commonly asked question. Since multiple virtual machines run on the same computer at the same time, they need a manager. This manager is known as a hypervisor. It is the software that integrates the physical hardware and the virtual machines’ virtual hardware. To learn more about VM Manager, you can read this article by Forbes. 

We do hope this article gave you a decent idea about virtual machine. Have some questions? Do let us know. We’d love to share our knowledge with you.


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