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Saturday, 7 July 2012

What is a Virtual Machine and What are the Components of a VM?

What is a virtual machine?

A virtual machine is a tightly isolated software container that can run its own operating systems and applications as if it were a physical computer. A virtual machine behaves exactly like a physical computer and contains it own virtual (that is, software-based) CPU, RAM hard disk and network interface card (NIC).

What are the components of a virtual machine?

A virtual machine is composed of several processes or userworlds that run in the VMkernel. Combined, the processes collectively make up a group. The following is a summary of components of a virtual machine:
  • Virtual Machine Executable (VMX) process - A process that runs in the VMkernel that is responsible for handling I/O to devices that are not critical to performance. The VMX is also responsible for communicating with user interfaces, snapshot managers, and remote console.
  • Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) process - A process that runs in the VMkernel that is responsible for virtualizing the guest OS instructions, and manages memory. The VMM passes storage and network I/O requests to the VMkernel, and passes all other requests to the VMX process. There is a VMM for each virtual CPU assigned to a virtual machine.
  • Mouse Keyboard Screen (MKS) process - A process that is responsible for rendering the guest video and handling guest operating system user input.

Check this KB article for more info:-