Virtualization is a revolutionary technology that has changed the way computing is performed in data centers. By converting traditionally siloed computing assets to shared pools of resources, virtualization provides a considerable number of advantages such as more efficient use of physical server resources, more efficient use of datacenter space, reduced energy consumption, simplified system administration, simplified backup and disaster recovery, and a host of other advantages. Due to the considerable number of advantages, companies and organizations of various sizes have either migrated their workloads to virtualized environments or are considering virtualization of their workloads. As per Gartner "Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure 2013", roughly two-third of x86 server workloads are virtualized [1]. The need for virtualization solutions by companies and organizations has increased the demand for qualified virtualization professionals for planning, designing, implementing, and maintaining virtualized infrastructure of different scales. Although universities are the main source for educating IT professionals, the field of information technology is so dynamic and changing so rapidly that not all universities can keep pace with the change. As a result, providing the latest technology that is being used in the information technology industry in the curriculums of universities is a big advantage for information technology universities. Taking into consideration the trend toward virtualization in computing environments and the great demand for virtualization professionals in the industry, the faculty of Information Sciences and Technologies department at RIT decided to prepare a graduate course in the master's program in Networking and System Administration entitled "Virtualization Systems Architecture", which better prepares students to a find a career in the field of enterprise computing.

This research is composed of five chapters. It starts by briefly going through the history of computer virtualization and exploring when and why it came into existence and how it evolved. The second chapter of the research goes through the challenges in virtualization of the x86 platform architecture and the solutions used to overcome the challenges. In the third chapter, various types of hypervisors are discussed and the advantages and disadvantages of each one are discussed. In the fourth chapter, the architecture and features of the two leading virtualization solutions are explored. Then in the final chapter, the research goes through the contents of the "Virtualization Systems Architecture" course.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rochester Institute of Technology. Department of Information Sciences and Technologies--Curricula; Virtual computer systems--Design--Study and teaching; Computer network architectures--Study and teaching

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Networking and System Administration (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)


Charles Border

Advisor/Committee Member

Tom Oh

Advisor/Committee Member

Sharon Mason


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at LB1044.87 .A44 2014


RIT Dubai

Plan Codes