A Virtual Machine (VM) is a simulated computing environment which mimics the functions of a physical computer. Compared to a physical machine, virtual machines provide many advantages including improved scalability, cost effectiveness, flexibility, and enhanced security.
A virtual machine allows a user to run multiple operating systems on one computer, each running independently and securely from each other. This allows users to access applications that are not available to the primary operating system. It also provides users with a way to safely test new applications and patches without affecting their main computer systems.
Virtual machines are used in cloud computing, where applications can be run over a network with little or no physical hardware. This makes them more efficient in terms of cost and time to set up and maintain than traditional hardware-based computing.
In addition, virtual machines are used to develop, deploy, execute, and monitor applications in different operating systems as part of system integration projects. This enables developers to focus on coding applications in one environment and still run them in another platform.
Virtual machines are also used for hosting websites, storing user credentials, and business process automation. They are commonly used for virtualized storage, virtualized servers, and virtualized networking.
Overall, virtual machines provide organizations with the flexibility to quickly and securely deploy applications on demand, with minimal resources. Though virtual machines typically operate on a smaller scale than physical machines, they are suitable for a range of computing requirements.