I have seen on a number of resumes the term "virtualization." While every resume is unique, what does the broader term or skill of "virtualization" mean or imply?

I feel that the ability to install virtual machines is not the only thing that this means. I have installed VMs and in my experience it was mostly following instructions.

Is there something else to it that I'm missing, like actually programming virtual machines? Is there an implied IT expertise on the issue, or relevant programming knowledge?

2 Answers 2


Sometimes, people put buzzwords on their resume in the hopes that it will get them noticed. For me virtualization goes beyond just creating a virtual machine and running linux or windows on it.

Virtualization encompasses things like selecting hardware and configuring nodes (including failover) for the virtual environment. Deciding whether to use raw storage so that you can take advantage of a SAN solution that handles de-duplication or using virtual hard drives for portability. Creating a management portal and potentially a self-service portal for authorized users to automatically deploy virtual machines based off library templates.

In addition to server virtualization there is also desktop virtualization. This concept involves creating a farm of virtual hosts running desktop clients or a terminal solution and replacing desktop machines with thin clients. These clients typically cost less than $500 and don't have to be upgraded because the horsepower is all in the server.

Finally, there is app virtualization, where applications are stored in bundles. When a user needs to run the application, the bundle is deployed to the client machine and runs in an isolated environment.

If someone puts "Virtualization" on his resume, I'd expect him to be able to talk about one or more of these topics.


Optimizing the configuration of virtual machines is likely part of what you are missing. How does one know how much RAM, disk space, CPU cycles to give to each of the VMs and how to monitor the health of these machines as some projects may ramp up and what was initially a good hardware configuration may no longer stay that way.

Failovers and load balancing would be a couple of other components that can be related to setting up virtual machines as they may be used in development and test environments where there isn't the need for beefy hardware and some of the bigger servers could act as 3 or 4 servers in some cases.

Wikipedia notes hardware and desktop virtualization where the latter may be something to consider in some companies as if someone doesn't require a powerful desktop, then a virtual machine could be made off an existing machine that could be shared amongst people without high requirements.

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