Whether for your personal network or your business IT, the right tools can boost efficiency and safety and help you get more bang for your buck. In recent years, one of the major trends we have seen in the IT space is the move towards virtual machines (VMs) to create digital hardware via a single physical computer.
But what are VMs exactly? In a nutshell, a virtual machine is a fully virtual computer system that is created by using the software on a physical computer in order to re-create the functionality of an entirely separate, new computer. With VMs, you can create many different virtual computers from a single device. Here is why they are useful in everyday tasks.
Try multiple operating systems
Every major operating system, be it Mac, Windows, or Linux, has its own unique perks, uses, and drawbacks. If you would rather try out each one, or even mix and match different uses, you can clone your system with VMs to find out which OS works best for you. Be warned, doing this can restrict your bandwidth, especially if you begin to lose track of your VMs. To prevent this, use a trustworthy VM monitoring tool such as the SolarWinds Virtualization Manager, which allows you to track and trace all of your idle VMs in order to keep things running smoothly. Tools like this allow you to have a top-down view of your VMs and review performance details.
Run outdated software
We all have a tool or piece of software from days gone by that we miss. If you want to use outdated software but worry it will not run on your newer device, you can simply use a VM to clone the system and run your outdated software in a risk-free environment. As long as you have the original installer, a VM can run the software. In addition, the use of a VM allows you to sandbox the software in a virtual environment, eliminating any potential risks to your device.
Test new apps and software
If you are developing apps or software of your own and need a solid test environment to run them on, then your best bet is to use a VM. Not only is this safer, but it also gives you a much broader testing environment. Using VMs, you can run the same piece of software across multiple different operating systems, allowing you to see how it will work on different users’ devices.
Tinker with your OS
Finally, you can use VMs to explore and experiment with your current OS with no consequences. This is especially useful if you are just getting to grips with a new OS and want to see what it can do or push it to the limits. VMs are, by definition, entirely virtual and are essentially clones of a real machine and OS. By using a VM, you can try any application or test that you want without worrying about causing any lasting damage to your own IT system.
These are the practical benefits of using virtual machines in everyday life, and it is exactly why we are going to see VMs becoming so much more popular in the coming years.