The main focus of DevOps is to the improve the quality and the speed of the software development. Conventional teams must upgrade to reach faster deployments, and adopting virtualization plays a major role in DevOps transition.
Virtualization offers the agility and consistency to a team to make the most use of the modern development tools.
In this article, I will explain the value of virtualization in DevOps. Read along to learn how virtualization enables developers to setup consistent and scalable systems throughout the Software Development Life Cycle.
Virtualization : What is it?
Virtualization can be described as the process of creating various virtual systems on a single server. This procedure maximizes the machine’s capacity by distributing it’s resource pool with different users and environments.
The DevOps teams in an organization, uses virtualization to create virtual machines (VMs). Each virtual machine has an operating system and acts as an independent PC even though it’s running on a shared resource pool of the physical machine.
A virtual machine copies all the components of a computer, which includes:
A DevOps team uses a hypervisor to manage all the VMs(Virtual Machines). A hypervisor is called as a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM). A VMM is a software, hardware, or firmware that creates and runs the virtual machines.
Following is the list of the most popular VMMs:
- XEN by AWS
- Hyper V by Microsoft
- POWER Hypervisor
- Oracle VM Server
Different types of Virtualization
1. Desktop Virtualization
Desktop Virtualization creates a virtual environment that copies the applications and settings of a desktop service.
Desktop Virtualization allows the administrator to deploy desktop environments to different physical machines. Administrators can easily perform mass configurations, updates, and security checks on all virtual desktops simultaneously.
2. Network Virtualization
Network Virtualization copies a network in a specific environment. This process distributes network functions among the virtual environments. The network functions includes directory services, file sharing IP and configurations.
Network Virtualization decreases the number of physical components necessary for setting up the separate networks such as:
3. Server Virtualization
Server Virtualization is a process that enables a single physical server to perform multiple individual functions. Server Virtualization leads to:
- Increased server performance.
- Reduced operating costs
- Faster workload capacity
This process also reduces managing costs and physical server complexity.
4. Operating System Virtualization
Operating System Virtualization enables the software developers to deploy multiple operating systems on a single machine. Operating System Virtualization helps the DevOps team to:
- Speeds up the IT services.
- Reduces the bulk hardware costs.
- Enables the developers to test an app on multiple operating systems while running on a single machine.
- Enhances the security by using isolation between multiple instances of the virtual machines.
What is DevOps? – Read our detailed article on DevOps here: Devops -Everything You Need To Know
How does Virtualization helps with DevOps?
Virtualizations is an important part of the DevOps software stack. VMs ( Virtual Machines) allows the team to build , test, and deploy the code within the simulated environments without wasting the computing resources.
Virtualization in DevOps is very essential in the development of the APIs, complex cloud, and SOA systems. Virtual Machines are ideal for TDD (Test Driven Development) DevOps teams that prefer to start the debugging process at the API layer.
Benefits of DevOps and Virtualization
Challenges With DevOps and Virtualization
Despite offering multiple benefits, virtualization in DevOps still poses different problems. While Virtual Machines speeds up the development process and testing, it still takes a lot of time to setup these virtual machines.
Many DevOps teams have experienced several data breaches due to the remote access and virtualized applications. These features can increase the attack surface if the setup is not done correctly.
However, the biggest challenge for Virtualization in DevOps is the knowledge gap in the software development team. To effectively adopt the virtual machines (VMs), an organization must either hire new employees or invest in the training of the existing staff. Both of these options are very expensive, especially considering the large DevOps projects.