Virtual operating environment which runs inside a hypervisor such as Hyper-V and simulates with software the functionality of a physical computer.
Virtual Machines require substantial compute resource overhead since hardware services and functions are simulated inside software running on top of a physical host operating environment. Virtual Machines provide much more flexibility to the administrator and the advantages overcome the extra cost of compute resources.
- Better use of server hardware since multiple Virtual Machines can run on a single physical host
- Disaster recovery is simpler given the flexibility of Virtual Machines. VMs can be migrated or replicated to redundant and remote hosts since there are no physical hardware components
- Flexibility of upgrading and developing application software since VMs can be replicated as development and test environments
- VM technology includes snapshots so an entire system can be backed up quickly and easily
- Hardware upgrades are simplified since VMs can be moved from host to host, even with each host has difference in configurations and sizes