DevOps and Virtualization: Effects of Virtual Machines on Software Development

The main focus of DevOps is to improve the quality and the speed of software development. Conventional teams must upgrade to reach faster deployments, and adopting virtualization plays a major role in DevOps transition.

It offers 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 it enables developers to set up consistent and scalable systems throughout the Software Development Life Cycle.

Virtualization : What is it?

It can be described as the process of creating various virtual systems on a single server. This procedure maximizes the machine’s capacity by distributing its 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:

  • CPU
  • Storage
  • RAM
  • Networks

A DevOps team uses a hypervisor to manage all the VMs(Virtual Machines). A hypervisor is called a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM). A VMM is software, hardware, or firmware that creates and runs virtual machines.

Following is the list of the most popular Virtual Machine Monitors :

  • VMWare
  • XEN by AWS
  • Hyper V by Microsoft
  • POWER Hypervisor
  • Oracle VM Server
  • AntsleOS

Different types of Virtualization

1. Desktop Virtualization

Desktop Virtualization creates a virtual environment that copies the applications and settings of a desktop service.

It 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 include directory services, file sharing IP, and configurations.

It decreases the number of physical components necessary for setting up the separate networks such as:

  • Cables
  • Hubs
  • Routers
  • Servers
  • Switches

3. Server Virtualization

It is a process that enables a single physical server to perform multiple individual functions. It 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. It 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?

It is an important part of the DevOps software stack. VMs ( Virtual Machines) allow the team to build, test, and deploy the code within the simulated environments without wasting computing resources.

Virtualization in DevOps is very essential in the development of 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

  • Fas, real-time testing
  • Fast Server Provisioning
  • Reliabel Backup System
  • More Efficient Developers
  • Cost Reductions
  • Consistency
  • Reduced Failure Rates
  • Improved Security

Challenges With DevOps and Virtualization

Despite offering multiple benefits, virtualization in DevOps still poses different problems. While Virtual Machines speed up the development process and testing, it still takes a lot of time to set up these virtual machines.

Many DevOps teams have experienced several data breaches due to remote access and virtualized applications. These features can increase the attack surface if the setup is not done correctly.

However, the biggest challenge for it in DevOps is the knowledge gap in the software development team. To effectively adapt 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.

Shantanu Choudhary
Shantanu Choudhary

Fueled by a passion for cutting-edge IT, I have found a home at TheRootDroid where I get to dissect complex tech topics and break them down into practical, easy-to-digest articles.

Articles: 13