Virtual machine

In today’s post we will talk about one of the most used concepts in computing: Virtual Machines. We will try to explain it in the easiest way possible for those of you who do not know exactly how they work.

What is a Virtual Machine (VM)?

First of all, it is important to keep in mind that a virtual machine is not a physical device but a software that emulates a PC inside another device.

The PC that is being emulated has its own CPU, hard disk, network card, graphics card, memory, etc. All these elements are virtual elements (emulated) that work exactly like the real hardware of the device in which the virtual machine is running.

If a virtual machine is an emulated device, Where does it get its resources from?

All the resources used by a virtual machine are taken from the real computer. Let´s imagine that we have a pc with 32 GB of RAM and we dedicate 8GB RAM to a first Virtual Machine and 4 GB RAM to a second one. The distribution would be the following*:

4

Virtual Machine 1 (GB RAM)

8

Virtual Machine 2 (GB RAM)

20

Available Resources (GB RAM)

*When the Virtual Machines are disconnected, the real device has at its disposal 100% of its resources.

And what about the Process Virtual Machines?

So far, we have been talking about System Virtual Machines,  but there is another type of virtual machines: the so-called  Process Virtual Machines. Unlike System Virtual Machines, Process Virtual Machines do not emulate complete devices, but specific processes, such .NET or java-based applications. The objective in this case is to guarantee the same performance of a given application regardless of the platform on which it is executed (Mac, Linux or Windows).

What is the point of creating virtual machines?

Virtual machines are created for different reasons. Most of the time, its creation responds to the need to test new Operating Systems or update the existing ones, run legacy programs, understand the performance of an application on different systems or open untrusted files. The goal is always the same: do these tests within controlled environments. Since virtual machines are isolated from the rest of the system, if something goes wrong, the damage will not be spread, keeping the real device in which, it runs, secure.

How does all this fits with isolation technologies?

As previously mentioned, virtual machines are created in real computers but are isolated from the rest of the system. Consequently,  the VMs have no access to the rest of the resources or data stored on said computers. Therefore, if a piece of malware infects the virtual machine, the real computer will remain immune. That is why virtualization has long been one of the most adopted approaches by cybersecurity departments.

Over time, we have seen how the concept of virtualization has evolved and improved, resulting in more complete solutions. One of which is precisely web isolation. The approach used by each player is different, but all web isolation models based on virtualization have three main limitations:

  • High cost
  • Limited scalability
  • And perhaps the most important one: they do not solve the problem. The simply move it from one place to another.

In our effort to solve the problem and address these limitations, we created RITech. RITech is the only isolation technology capable of solving the problem once and for all. Its approach, beyond Hardware, Containers or VDIs, allows organizations to achieve scalability levels never seen before and, therefore, serve as many concurrent sessions as desired. Do you want to know more details? Discover everything RITech can do for you and your company.

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