A virtual machine is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. The virtual machine consists of a set of specification and configuration files and is backed by the physical resources of a host. Every virtual machine has virtual devices that provide the same functionality as physical hardware but are more portable, more secure, and easier to manage.

Before you start creating and managing virtual machines, you benefit from some background information, for example, the virtual machine files, life cycle, components, and so on.