Q 10.1 - Support of Virtual Machines

The fundamental idea behind virtual machines is to abstract the hardware of a single computer (the CPU, memory, disk drives, network interface cards, and so forth) into several different execution environments, thereby creating the illusion that each separate environment is running on its own private computer.  This concept may seem similar to the layered approach of operating system implementation.  Would you support use of virtual machines for your university campus as the IT Director?  Give reasons for your answer.

Virtual Machines have become the one cost effective way of "adding" more computers (especially servers) to an institutions scares provision of computers.  The question demands that a students shows his acceptance or otherwise.  The following points are for the support of virtual machines:

  • Multiple OS environments can exist simultaneously on the same machine, isolated from each other;

  • Cost benefit in that it does not require purchase of additional system units for multiple machines.

  • Virtual Machines can be treated as one file in the file system and can be cut, copied, moved, etc., and run ad hoc anytime.

  • Good for testing operating and application software, without the negative impact of jamming up the underlying operating system.

  • With security, virtual machines, can be specifically configured to define the best environment to run each service with different security requirements, several tools and operating system most suitable for each service.  Virtual machines can be isolated and independent of each other, including the host machine.  Thus the vulnerability of a service does not affect the other, using a virtual machine for each service.


In answer to not supporting virtual machines, start with the intro here and debunk the idea with disadvantages you can get (and there are lot you can search for).  However make sure you state some good points of Virtual Machines but then how you can improve or cater for that using physical machines.