So you are new in the world of virtualization and wondering what is it all about. As the name suggests, in computing it is the creation of virtual (rather than actual) version of something. And there are many different types of virtualization:
For the purpose of this article, I am only going to cover Desktop Virtualization which is a concept that separates logical desktop from the physical machine. This will give us the ability to have more than one virtual desktops. And because they are virtually and logically separated, they are independent of each other. So, one could have multiple virtual machines running with separate operating systems of the same or different. For more detailed explanation of Desktop Virtualization, visit the link:
But how can we actually create Virtualized Desktops? There are few companies who offer programs that will make it possible to create virtualized desktops. For example, Windows Virtual PC from Microsoft, VMware Workstation or VMware Player by VMware or VirtualBox by Oracle.
I am going to demonstrate the example of Desktop Virtualization using VMware Player because it is free to download and use.
How to install and run VMware Player?
VMware Player is the easiest way to run multiple operating systems at the same time on your PC. This is best when you want to test new software or simply to have a machine for trial and error purposes.
1. The first thing we need to do is to register with VMware website and then download VMware Player 4.0.2 for Windows as I am using Window 7 as host operating system 64bit (my main machine.)
2. Once download is complete, click on the installer to begin the process.
3. Follow the installation wizard until the program is successfully installed and you will be prompted to Restart the machine
4. Now that the application is installed run the application by going to Start > All Programs > VMware > VMware Player. You will see:
5. Click on Create a New Virtual Machine to create your first virtual machine. A window will prompt you to select the method that you want to install the operating system. For this example, I am going to use the second option (Installer disc image file (iso)) and for this you need to have an image from the operating system saved on your hard drive. Otherwise, if you have the DVD then you can choose the first option. It always faster to install the operating system from an image saved on hard drive rather than DVD drive.
6. As we are going to install a new Windows 7 operating system, we have to enter the product key in the next dialog box:
7. You can also skip this step by clicking Next and a message will appear warning you that you must manually activate windows later
8. Name your newly created virtual machine and set the location for files to be stored:
9. Specify Disk Capacity:
10. You can either click on Finish or Customize Hardware:
11. Click Customize if you want to modify the default hardware settings for your virtual machine:
12. Once you click Finish, the virtual machine will start booting and Window 7 installation process will begin:
13. Once Window 7 installation process is complete, your virtual machine is ready to use:
14. Make sure that you network settings are correct otherwise you will not have internet connection on your virtual machine. The simpliest way to do this is by going to the right buttom of your virtual machine window and Right Click on the Network Icon > choose Settings:
15. Under the Network Adapter, choose Bridged mode and tick Replicated physical network connection state:
Congratulations! You have created your first virtual machine and connected to the internet. Enjoy!!