Virtualization is an interesting methodology in the computing industry. It has attracted so much attention over the last few years because of what it can do. Virtualization can be a bit tricky to explain in layman’s terms because it is highly technical, but for purposes of discussion, virtualization simply means virtually dividing a single physical resource, such as a computer, into several partitions. With the use of virtualization software, each partition is then transformed into one virtual standalone computer, running on its own operating system and performing tasks on its own, without conflicting with the other virtual standalone computers which are also minding their own businesses.
Because of virtualization, running different operating systems at the same time on one computer is now possible. A computer running on Ubuntu Linux can serve as a host operating system (OS) so guest OSs such as Windows XP can run within it. This proves to be especially useful for users who want to be able to use all the best applications various operating systems offer. A fan of Linux can still run Ubuntu on his computer while typing his documents in Microsoft Word, for instance.
Out of all software companies developing virtualization software, VMware is considered the industry leader. One of its products is the VMware Workstation, which is a software suite that enables a computer to be divided into several virtual machines, with each machine running a guest OS. All guest OSs are hosted by the primary OS. Depending on the configuration, most available OSs such as XP, Vista, and Ubuntu Linux can play the role of guest or host OS.