What is Virtualization?
To begin with, virtualization is the process of running multiple or different systems (operating systems or applications) separately. It runs them as containers on the same hardware without interference and distributes the available hardware resources accordingly.
Furthermore, it has become very easy for us to create a separate environment or a container to run a completely different system irrespective of what kind of hardware it requires and what we actually have. Besides that, virtualization software works by emulating the hardware platform and components required for a specific OS to run; Hence, providing us a way to run different systems on the same hardware.
Below is a list of best virtualization software available for different platforms.
In the first place, VMware is one of the best virtualization software out there. Also, it is very well designed and has many great features with high performance that makes it an industry leading choice. It is secure, handles resources very efficiently, supports a wide variety of operating systems, and can run multiple systems simultaneously.
Oracle VirtualBox is another good virtualization software available for Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris. Likewise, it supports a wide range of guest operating systems and is a powerful software with good performance, the best part is that it is open source and absolutely free of cost; So, it is ideal for those who were looking for a free and powerful alternative of VMware. While it doesn’t have as many features as VMware, it still works great and is one of the best virtualization software available.
Get it now: Oracle VirtualBox
QEMU (Quick Emulator) is yet another free and open source hardware virtualization software. It can emulate various peripherals such as USB, CD-ROM, audio interfaces, network cards, etc. While it is not as powerful as VMware and VirtualBox, many people still use it because of its simplicity and lightweight structure.
Get it here: https://www.qemu.org
Other virtualization software:
KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). It can run multiple virtual machines running unmodified Linux or Windows images. Each virtual machine has private virtualized hardware: a network card, disk, graphics adapter, etc.
KVM is open source software. The kernel component of KVM is included in mainline Linux, as of 2.6.20. The userspace component of KVM is included in mainline QEMU, as of 1.3.
Microsoft Hyper-V can create virtual machines on x86 as well as x64 systems running Windows. Later, Hyper-V superseded Windows Virtual PC as the hardware virtualization component of the client editions of Windows NT.
Also, a server computer running Hyper-V can be configured to expose individual virtual machines to one or more networks just like VMware Workstation 15 Pro.
Parallels Desktop is a virtualization software especially built for Macintosh (like Hyper-V is for Windows) to run Windows and Linux on a Mac. It can run Windows and macOS simultaneously on a Mac.
- Run multiple operating systems without rebooting.
- Use different versions of Linux.
- Test in multiple browsers, including Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.
- Test software in an isolated environment.