A virtual machine, known as a guest, is created within a computing environment, called a host. Multiple virtual machines can exist in one host at one time. Key files that make up a virtual machine include a log file, NVRAM setting file, virtual disk file, and configuration file.
Virtual machines are software computers that provide the same functionality as physical computers. Like physical computers, they run applications and an operating system. However, virtual machines are computer files that run on a physical computer and behave like a physical computer. In other words, virtual machines behave as separate computer systems.
Virtual machines are created to perform specific tasks that are risky to perform in a host environment, such as accessing virus-infected data and testing operating systems. Since the virtual machine is sandboxed from the rest of the system, the software inside the virtual machine cannot tamper with the host computer. Virtual machines can also be used for other purposes such as server virtualization.
Learn how to create a virtual machine with VMware.