What is virtualization?
We have already talked about virtualization. You can check out our in-depth article HERE. In short, virtualization uses software to create a virtual machine from your hardware. You can use it for various purposes such as data virtualization, desktop virtualization, router virtualization, firewall virtualization and more.
It is very handy and many people would prefer to use virtualization or a combination of virtualization and real hardware devices for best results.
You can use different virtual services at the same time. You can have both a virtual router and a virtual firewall. The limit is the hardware of your computer.
It is also known as a Virtual Router or a vRouter. It is a software that works on Layer 3 like the hardware routers. It is more agile than traditional hardware routers. You have probably used one without even knowing. Do you remember the last time you shared your Wi-Fi connection from your computer? Yes, it was a virtual router that used the existing hardware.
A virtual firewall is again, a software that provides similar functionality to the hardware one. It offers network traffic filter and monitor. It can work in two modes – a bridge mode and a hypervisor. The first is very similar to the typical physical firewall wall, which is located in a strategic position.
The hypervisor mode doesn’t perform like a physical one. It is inside the VM and checks its activity. It is neither part of the VM, nor proper part of the network so users have no access.
Advantages of the virtual router and firewall
Scalability. It is a lot easier to scale up or down with virtual machines. You need more, just dedicate more hardware to it.
Low Cost. The hardware routers and firewalls are expensive and the virtual ones can be easily deployed even if the system is not very powerful.
Backup. You can create a backup point and later restore it, if for some reason it doesn’t work well. After an update or after a change in the configuration, there might be errors so you just revert to the backup.
Complexity. You add another layer, a software one. If you are not familiar with virtualization, it can be hard at first.
Computer On 24/7. You will need the host computer to be on all the time so that it can keep the virtual machine running.