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Introduction to Virtual Machines and Hypervisors

Article | April 25, 2013

Organizations of all sizes have identified the benefits of cloud-based computing, whether it’s implementing a private or hybrid cloud on their own or accessing a public cloud through a service provider. Virtualization, a key component for building secure cloud environments, offers many advantages, including higher machine efficiency due to increased utilization, energy savings, and the flexibility to build or destroy virtual machines (VMs) on demand to meet changing organizational needs. Choosing open source virtualization over proprietary alternatives can significantly increase savings. However, an open source Linux Kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) offers several benefits to organizations beyond just cost savings. These benefits include security, reliability, availability, performance, and scalability. In this white paper, we’ll look at the relationship between open source virtualization and the cloud, and explore the security aspects of KVM hypervisor technology, especially in relation to how it leverages SELinux and related capabilities for secure public, private, and hybrid cloud performance.