If you aren't familiar with how VPS's work, here's the general rundown: a single physical server is split into several different virtual machines. Each of these imitates a real computer or server, with dedicated resources, operating system, and applications.

What you may not know is that there are several different types of virtual machines (VM), and virtualization technologies and that this does matter to you as a consumer. Broadly, VMs can be split into two categories:

  • System virtual machines: These are VMs that emulate an existing architecture to provide a complete substitute to a real machine, with its own OS, applications, etc. This is what you typically access when you log in to your VPS server and uses a hypervisor to achieve this functionality.
  • Process virtual machines: Allow one process to run as an application. Users cannot install a complete virtual operating system and instead gain access to a virtual environment on a chosen OS. One example of this is the Java Virtual Machine, which lets any OS run java apps as if they were native ones.

Types of virtualization

There are various types of virtualization that cover everything a computer or server infrastructure requires.

Server virtualization

Server virtualization refers to the practice of installing a virtual machine software or manager directly on a server's system. This is typically used to split a single physical server into multiple virtual ones in order to provide different specification tiers to consumers while allowing them to maintain dedicated resources.

Network virtualization

Enables multiple networks with separate data plans and control. This is essential for VPNs and to provide guest systems with virtual network interfaces, switches, firewalls, etc. Importantly, these virtual networks can be managed by different parties and their traffic can remain confidential from one another.

Storage virtualization

Storage virtualization can gather multiple physical storage arrays and display them to a user as a single entity. It also enables users to scale their storage capacity on demand and makes backing up and recycling storage much easier.

Desktop virtualization

Desktop stores a desktop environment virtually on a centralized remote server. This allows users to access their desktop virtually regardless of where they are in the world.

Data virtualization

Generally used to collect data from multiple sources in a single location so that it can be accessed by interested parties remotely.

What is a KVM?

A KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is an open-source virtualization technology built into Linux versions later than 2007. Like any hypervisor, it allows a single host to run one or more isolated virtual environments (VMs).

Why BitLaunch uses them

KVMs offer strong security with good performance, low latency, and support for a wide range of hardware and storage devices. At BitLaunch, one reason we choose to use KVM technology over other Linux virtualization options such as OpenVz is its ability to isolate virtual machines from one another completely. Each KVM VPS has its own RAM, CPU resources, kernel, and operating system, so users do not have to worry that activity on somebody else's VM will affect theirs.

KVMs also enable us to offer full root access to our users for total control and freedom surrounding their VPS servers. You get a similar level of privacy, ownership, and transparency to a dedicated server at a fraction of the cost.