If you have the feeling that everyone else in the world understands virtualization perfectly while you are still trying to understand just what it is and how you might take advantage of it, take heart, you are not alone.

Virtualization, in simple English (no geek speak), refers to a concept in which access to a single underlying piece of hardware – Laptop, Desktop PC, Apple Mac – is coordinated so that multiple guest operating systems – Windows 7, XP, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc – can share that single piece of hardware, with no guest operating system being aware that it is actually sharing anything at all. (A guest operating system is an operating system that is hosted by an underlying virtualization software layer, often called the host system). A guest operating system appears to the applications running on it as a complete operating system (OS), and the guest OS itself is completely unaware that it’s running on top of a layer of virtualization software rather than directly on the physical hardware.

We would concern ourselves with two approaches to virtualization:

TYPE 1 (Bare Metal Virtualization)

In this approach to virtualization, a virtualization software is installed to run directly on the host’s hardware to control the hardware and to manage guest operating systems. Examples of such virtualization softwares include Xen, Citrix XenServer, KVM, VMware ESX/ESXi, and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor. This approach is very popular with corporate bodies and web hosting companies. The hardware referred to in this instance are usually enterprise grade servers.

TYPE 2 (Operating System Virtualization)

Operating system virtualization, by contrast, is an approach where guest operating systems (also called Virtual Machines) are installed on top of a conventional operating system using your regular laptops and desktop computers. This is made possible using special installed softwares like Virtual Box, VMWare Workstation.

This is the approach to virtualization that we are going to concern ourselves with and our software of choice will be Virtualbox

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