7.1 Virtual Machines Overview

The terms domain, guest and virtual machine are often used interchangeably, but they have subtle differences. A domain is a configurable set of resources, including memory, virtual CPUs, network devices and disk devices, in which virtual machines run. A domain is granted virtual resources and can be started, stopped and restarted independently of other domains and of the host server itself. A guest is a virtualized operating system running within a domain. A guest operating system may be paravirtualized, hardware virtualized, or hardware virtualized with paravirtualized drivers. Multiple guests can run on the same Oracle VM Server. A virtual machine is a guest operating system and its associated application software. For the sake of simplicity, we use the term virtual machine to encompass domain, guest and virtual machine. They are synonymous with each other and may be used interchangeably.

You can use Oracle VM Manager to create virtual machines using:

Virtual machines require most installation resources to be in a storage repository, managed by Oracle VM Manager, with the exception of mounted ISO files for paravirtualized guests. See Section 7.5, “Virtual Machine Resources” for information on importing and managing virtual machine resources.

Before you create a virtual machine that requires network connectivity, or a paravirtualized machine which requires network connectivity to perform the operating system install, you must generate some virtual network interfaces using the VNIC Manager. See Section 7.6, “Managing VNICs” for information on using the VNIC Manager.