Virtualization is a popular approach to computers in the IT world today. You will hear the term used both in the cloud and on-premises equipment.
Basically, virtualization is where you create machines inside machines that work just like physical machines but are imaginary or exist only appearing to be real physical machines.
In many of the classes I teach about computers the students use virtual machines. This means they can create a PC or a server within their computer which works just like a real physical machine, but they do not need a separate physical machine (in some cases using 4 or 5 virtual machines in a virtual network) and if they goof one, they only damaged the virtual machine not their real one and they can delete it and build it again and the stuff on real is all ok.
In the IT world we see many servers that people access are now virtual servers. This means an organization needs fewer physical devices (means less space and money and cooling costs) and the other servers are built as virtual servers on the physical server. Then things can continue to operate as they had as if all these different servers still physically existed but less hardware costs etc.
PCs in the corporate world are often moving to be virtual computers also. Instead of having a full-size desktop at your desk you have a small network computer that basically just has memory and a processor in it and the storage is done on a central computer and when you start it, it creates a virtual machine on your machine with all stuff being pulled from the central server. This way they save on PC equipment and less stuff needing upgrading.
The cloud is also a place virtual machines can be built and run and actually in the previous example of PCs would be running often off a private cloud. The cloud itself has many servers usually, and then you could have a server there just for you or it could create virtual servers for you and appear to be separate physical servers local then.
Send me your questions about computers to my e-mail email@example.com and tell me you read this in this paper. I will pick a question to answer each week.
Dwight Watt does computer work for businesses, individuals and organizations and teaches about computers at a technical college in northwest Georgia. His webpage is www.dwightwatt.com.