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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is OS Virtualization?
3.
Types of OS Virtualization
4.
​​Features of Operating System-Based Virtualization
5.
How does OS Virtualization works?
5.1.
1. Kernel-Level Virtualization:
5.2.
2. Containerization:
5.3.
3. Namespace Isolation:
5.4.
4. Control Groups (cgroups):
5.5.
5. Container Runtimes:
5.6.
6. Orchestration and Management:
6.
Advantages of OS Visualization
7.
Disadvantages of OS Virtualization
8.
Frequently Asked Questions
8.1.
What is OS Virtualization?
8.2.
What does virtualization mean?
8.3.
What are the three kinds of OS virtualization?
8.4.
Why is OS virtualization important?
9.
Conclusion
Last Updated: May 19, 2024
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OS Virtualization in Cloud Computing

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Introduction

In Cloud Computing, virtualization is defined as creating a virtual version of a server, desktop, storage device, network resources, or Operating System. A single physical server is partitioned into various independent and remote virtual spaces, each of which is accessed by different users depending on their requirements. Each virtual server can run its operating system and application on the network. In this blog, we are going to learn about OS virtualization, its types, and working.

OS Virtualization in Cloud Computing

What is OS Virtualization?

Operating system virtualization (OS virtualization) is a server virtualization technology that includes customizing a conventional operating system to run numerous programs for many users on the same machine simultaneously. Even if they are on the same machine, the operating systems do not interact with each other.

The operating system is transformed in OS virtualization such that it behaves like numerous other independent systems. Different users running different apps on the same system can provide instructions to the virtualized environment. The virtualized operating system handles the users and their requests individually.

OS virtualization is also known as virtualization at the operating system level.

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Types of OS Virtualization

In the operating system, there are two forms of virtualization:

  1. Windows Operating System Virtualization – To virtualize the Windows Operating system VMware Workstation software is used. Users need to install VMware workstation software before installing any other software by means of virtualization.
  2. Linux Operating System Virtualization – Similar to the windows operating system, virtualization is done using VMware Workstation Software and it is also required for installing any other software.

In addition, in cloud computing, OS Virtualization utilizes two virtual drives. As a result, the client will be able to access that disc across the network.

  1. Shared Disk - The shared disc may be used by several companies/clients simultaneously. The companies' update is applied independently and clears the cache. The settings of other clients will not be altered if this system is restarted. After the restart, the system returns to its default settings.
  2. Private Disk - A private Disk can only be used by one firm or client. The client/company stores the information based on the allotted capacity.

​​Features of Operating System-Based Virtualization

Operating System-Based Virtualization, also known as containerization, provides a lightweight virtualization solution by leveraging the host operating system's kernel. This approach offers several features and benefits:

  • Efficient Resource Utilization: Since containers share the host operating system's kernel, they consume fewer system resources compared to traditional virtual machines (VMs), leading to improved resource utilization and scalability.
  • Rapid Deployment: Containers can be quickly deployed, started, and stopped, allowing for faster application development, testing, and deployment cycles. This agility is particularly advantageous in dynamic environments requiring frequent updates or scaling.
  • Isolation: Containers provide process-level isolation, ensuring that applications running within them remain isolated from each other and from the host system. This isolation enhances security and stability by preventing one container's issues from affecting others.
  • Portability: Containerized applications are highly portable, as they encapsulate all dependencies and runtime environments. This portability enables consistent application behavior across different environments, such as development, testing, and production.
  • Microservices Architecture: Operating system-based virtualization facilitates the adoption of microservices architecture, where complex applications are broken down into smaller, independent services running in separate containers. This modular approach enhances scalability, maintainability, and fault tolerance.
  • Ecosystem Support: Containerization enjoys robust ecosystem support, with widely used platforms such as Docker and Kubernetes providing tools for building, deploying, and managing containerized applications. This ecosystem support simplifies the adoption and management of containerized environments for organizations.

How does OS Virtualization works?

1. Kernel-Level Virtualization:

  • OS virtualization operates at the kernel level, leveraging the host operating system's kernel to create and manage isolated environments called containers.
  • Instead of emulating hardware like traditional virtualization, OS virtualization isolates and virtualizes the operating system resources, including processes, filesystems, and network interfaces.

2. Containerization:

  • Containers are lightweight, portable, and self-contained units that encapsulate an application and its dependencies.
  • Each container shares the host operating system's kernel but maintains its own isolated filesystem, network stack, and process space.

3. Namespace Isolation:

  • OS virtualization utilizes Linux namespaces to provide process-level isolation between containers.
  • Namespaces isolate various resources such as process IDs, network interfaces, filesystem mounts, and inter-process communication, ensuring that processes within a container are isolated from processes in other containers and the host system.

4. Control Groups (cgroups):

  • Control groups, or cgroups, are another crucial component of OS virtualization, responsible for resource management and allocation.
  • Cgroups allow administrators to limit and monitor the resources consumed by each container, including CPU, memory, disk I/O, and network bandwidth.

5. Container Runtimes:

  • Container runtimes, such as Docker or containerd, are responsible for creating, managing, and executing containers on the host system.
  • These runtimes interact with the host operating system's kernel through system calls and kernel features to create and manage container environments.

6. Orchestration and Management:

  • Orchestration platforms like Kubernetes provide higher-level tools for managing containerized applications at scale.
  • These platforms automate container deployment, scaling, load balancing, and service discovery, simplifying the management of complex containerized environments.

Advantages of OS Visualization

There have been several good implications in the cloud sector since the introduction of OS Virtualization, which will be highlighted here:

  • Virtualization of the operating system generates a virtual place for storing data while keeping a connection to the server. This architecture saves time for the user and saves money since it eliminates the need for a physical structure, which raises the cost and time for data storage.
  • Since all of the data is saved in a safe virtual form, there isn't much upkeep necessary for data storage because the hardware isn't required. All of the data is saved on virtual drives then sent to the client through the server. This saves a lot of time, space and lowers the total infrastructure cost.
  • Since the OS Virtualization system is entirely based on virtual computers, the power consumption of actual hardware has been dramatically decreased.
  • Furthermore, energy savings are maximized since the system requires less cooling, resulting in cost and energy savings.

Disadvantages of OS Virtualization

The following are some of OS Virtualization's drawbacks:

  • Operating System Virtualization only allows for a single operating system as the guest OS and as the server's basis.
  • A single operating system, either Linux or Windows, only can be used by the client.
  • The container's operating system should be the same version and patch level as the underlying OS.
  • All virtual containers become unavailable and unreachable if the underlying OS fails.

We are done with the blog, lets’ move to FAQS.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is OS Virtualization?

Operating system virtualization (OS virtualization) is a server virtualization method that involves customizing a conventional operating system to run multiple applications for multiple users on a single computer.

What does virtualization mean?

The "creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version" of something, such as a server, a desktop, a storage device, an operating system, or network resources is defined as Virtualization.

What are the three kinds of OS virtualization?

The three kinds of OS Virtualization are  Windows Operating System Virtualization and Linux Operating System Virtualization.

Why is OS virtualization important?

OS virtualization is important because it allows for efficient resource utilization, rapid application deployment, and improved scalability. By isolating applications in lightweight containers, it enhances flexibility, simplifies management, and supports the development of modern, microservices-based architectures.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed OS Virtualization in Cloud Computing. OS virtualization plays a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of cloud computing. By providing efficient resource utilization, rapid deployment, and scalability, it empowers businesses to optimize their infrastructure, enhance agility, and drive innovation. 

Also read, Components of Operating System

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