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Full virtualization, in computer science, is a virtualization technique used to implement a certain kind of virtual machine environment: one that provides a complete simulation of the underlying hardware. The result is a system in which all software capable of execution on the raw hardware can be run in the virtual machine. In particular, this includes all operating systems. (This is different from other forms of virtualization – which allow only certain or modified software to run within a virtual machine.)

A key challenge for full virtualization is the interception and simulation of privileged operations, such as I/O instructions. The effects of every operation performed within a given virtual machine must be kept within that virtual machine – virtual operations cannot be allowed to alter the state of any other virtual machine, the control program, or the hardware. Some machine instructions can be executed directly by the hardware, since their effects are entirely contained within the elements managed by the control program, such as memory locations and arithmetic registers. But other instructions that would "pierce the virtual machine" cannot be allowed to execute directly; they must instead be trapped and simulated. Such instructions either access or affect state information that is outside the virtual machine.

Full virtualization has proven highly successful for a) sharing a computer system among multiple users, b) isolating users from each other (and from the control program) and c) emulating new hardware to achieve improved reliability, security and productivity.

 

End-to-end virtualization lets you host and access applications anywhere across server, network, and storage infrastructures. It helps you reduce costs, provision new applications more quickly, and maintain a high level of application performance. With Server Networking and Virtualization Services, Shrih Technologies and our partners work together to help you create and adopt an end-to-end virtualization strategy so you can get the most out of your data center resources.

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