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Overview of main virtualization vendors

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Virtualization has become a critically important focus of the IT world in recent years. Virtualization technologies are used by countless thousands of companies to consolidate their workloads and to make their IT environments scalable and more flexible. If you want to learn cloud computing, you'll simply have to absorb the basic virtualization technology concepts at some point. 

This course will give you all the fundamental concepts to understand how Virtualization works: why it's so important and how we moved from Virtualization to cloud computing. As a beginner course, you will find how Virtualization helps companies and professionals achieving better TCO and how it works from a technical point of view. Learn what is an hypervisor, how virtual machines are separated inside the same physical host and how they communicate with lower hardware levels. If you want to start a career in the cloud computing industry, you will need to know how the most common virtualization technologies works and how they are used in cloud infrastractures. 

A consistent part of this course is dedicated to the description of the most common technologies like: VMware, XEN, KVM and Microsoft Hyper-V. You will learn how they are used in the most common public cloud infrastructures and when to use them based on your needs. 

Why you should know about Virtualization

As a fundamental technology for the cloud computing industry, learning how Virtualization works will give you several advantages for your career. You will understand technical and economical advantages introduced by Virtualization in the modern public cloud environments. You should watch this course before start learning about cloud computing and other cloud related technologies.


Welcome back to the Virtualization Technologies course for beginners. During these lectures, we'll talk about the major virtualization vendors.


The first commercial X86 virtualization product was launched in 2001 by VMware. Nowadays VMware is the virtualization market leader and it has a rich portfolio of products for both the consumer and enterprise worlds. VMware ESX is the bare-metal solution with an easy to use management UI that allows you to deploy full virtualized machines.


Two years later the open source Xen project began at the University of Cambridge and it offers both full and paravirtualization. It's based on the Linux kernel. Xen has an active user base of more than 10 million users and is also used by Amazon, SoftLayer, and Rackspace. Citrix is a multinational software company founded in 1989 and it offers commercial products based on Xen. Xen server is a bare metal solution and a competitor of VMware ESX and ESXi. The Xen Center application is the Citrix tool used to create and manage Xen server installations. It is quite similar to the VMware-viclient.


KVM is a more recent product of the Linux universe that allows users to create virtual machines on top of their particular distributions. KVM supports full and paravirtualization.

Microsoft Hyper-V

Microsoft released Hyper-V a hosted and bare-metal hyper visor in 2008. An important remark regarding Hyper-V is the Microsoft license strategy. You can create unlimited Windows server power virtual machines simply by purchasing one license of the Microsoft Windows Server Data Center Edition.

About the Author

Antonio is an IT Manager and a software and infrastructure Engineer with 15 years of experience in designing, implementing and deploying complex webapps.

He has a deep knowledge of the IEEE Software and Systems Engineering Standards and of several programming languages (Python, PHP, Java, Scala, JS).

Antonio has also been using and designing cloud infrastructures for five years, using both public and private cloud services (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, Openstack and Vmware vSphere).

During his past working experiences, he designed and managed large web clusters, also developing a service orchestrator for providing automatic scaling, self-healing and a Disaster Recovery Strategy.

Antonio is currently the Labs Product Manager and a Senior DevOps Engineer at Cloud Academy; his main goal is providing the best learn-by-doing experience possible taking care of the Cloud Academy Labs platform.

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