Cool Things Virtual Machines Can Do
Running virtual machines are no longer for the geeks and person who run powerful servers. In fact, if may be using one yourself without knowing it. Did you ever wonder how cloud storages work? There are really virtual machines stored in the “cloud”.
I will restrict myself with running a “guest” operating system on your windows computer since more advance topics can be covered later.
Virtualization currently is dominated with VMware and Oracle which offer services like running a full server on the “virtual” environment. A server inside a server with no physical or tangible part. Both company offer FREE virtualization systems in the form of VMware Player for VMware and Virtual Box for Oracle.
Run Old Applications and Perhaps Old Games
Do you have any old application that no longer work on your new Windows 10 computer but run on your Windows XP?
Virtual Machines let you install a separate operating system inside your current operating system. You can easily install your old windows XP/Windows 7 inside your virtual machine on your Windows 10 computer.
Test Software, Upgrades, or New Configurations
Afraid to install an application since you can’t be so sure if it won’t cause problems on your computer. Virtual machines let you install a copy of your operating system, emulate some of your hardware/computer parts so you can install and check if it will cause problems.
Most system administrators test their network and system settings on virtual machines first if the ability to turn off certain computers is a big luxury. I myself uses virtual machines to test my home developed software, better safe than sorry.
Run a different OS on your computer
Ever wondered how it feels to use apples OS X on your computer but you don’t have the hardware or extra computer to install it?
With virtual machines you can install a new operating system on top of your current one. Install Linux, UNIX, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Cent OS, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
As a bonus, you can even install alpha release of new Operating system.
Access Virus-Infected Data
Did you ever find yourself having files flagged as infected that contains important data? Did you ever get frustrated when your paranoid antivirus keeps on deleting your main application file but you are not 100% sure that the program is safe?
With virtual machines, you can install, open and run those programs without the antivirus nagging or blocking you to access the files. Please use sparingly and practice safety with opening unknown files.
Extra Layer of Protection
With virtual machines, you have this thing called “sandboxed”, you are protected from direct attacks from people over the internet but don’t get the false feeling of security. You are only protected with direct attacks and file attacks, they are attacking a non-existing computer.
Your passwords can still be stolen, your accounts can still be stolen and you can still be key logged. Your IP is still visible as it unless you have set your virtual machine to have its own IP. Don’t get the false impression that you are now hack proof like other people claim when you are using virtual machines.
Run Your Own Servers
Virtual machines do not limit you to install desktop systems, in fact, they are can run servers too. My server is being run on one of the Virtual Machines in the cloud but it was tested on my local virtual machines first if before being deployed. This gives you big discounts in hosting your files which you are usually charge a lot in non-virtual machine environment.
Hosting your own server gives you the leverage to install needed applications without the fear of getting declined with your hosting provider.