7 Virtualisation Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Virtualisation is a technology that helps businesses increase the efficiency of their servers and reduce IT infrastructure expenses. Companies often hire experienced professionals who can help them with their virtualisation efforts. Preparing for questions on virtualisation can help you build a career as a server administrator, network engineer or other similar roles. In this article, we discuss a few virtualisation interview questions, explain why hiring managers might ask them, and share sample responses and tips to help you prepare for an upcoming interview.

Virtualisation Interview Questions With Sample Answers

You can use these virtualisation interview questions and sample responses to prepare for an upcoming interview:

1. How does virtualisation work?

Employers prefer candidates who have a good understanding of core functionalities. This question helps the hiring manager evaluate if you have a clear idea of the virtualisation process and architecture. You can provide a detailed answer that explains virtualisation technique by defining the roles of the virtual machine, hypervisor and host.

Example: 'The core idea of virtualisation is a virtual machine (VM) that is a tightly isolated software container with an application and operating system. Since each VM is independent and completely separate, we can run multiple VMs simultaneously on a single server or computer. The hypervisor is a thin software layer that decouples the VM from the host machine. The hypervisor allocates computing resources to each VM as and when required.'

Related: What Is Virtualisation? (Definition, Types And Uses)

2. Explain the different types of virtualisations.

This question helps the interviewer assess your understanding of virtualisation types and applications. In your response, you can provide a list of the different virtualisation types with a brief explanation of each one.

Example: 'Virtualisation is of several types including application, network, desktop, storage, server and data. Application virtualisation helps users gain remote access to an application from a server. Network virtualisation helps us create and manage multiple virtual networks, while desktop virtualisation allows operating systems to be remotely stored on a server, enabling users to access their desktops virtually. Storage virtualisation allows us to manage storage across multiple physical locations as a single repository. Server virtualisation allows the masking of multiple server resources, while data virtualisation collects data from various sources to manage it in a single place.'

Related: Different Types Of Virtualisation In Cloud Computing

3. What is the difference between virtualisation and cloud computing?

During the interview, the hiring manager might ask questions that ask you to compare two similar sounding terms or concepts. For example, it is easy to confuse cloud computing and virtualisation as both involve the creation of virtual environments from physical resources. While they may seem similar, they are distinctly different technologies. You can structure your response by explaining the key characteristics that differentiate virtualisation from cloud computing.

Example: 'While they may sound similar, cloud computing and virtualisation are not interchangeable. The key difference is that the cloud is an environment, while virtualisation is a technology. Virtualisation is a technology that allows businesses to create multiple dedicated resources or simulated environments from a single hardware system. Cloud computing is an IT environment that pools and shares resources across a network and delivers services, resources or data on demand via the internet. Companies can begin by virtualising their servers and later moving on to cloud computing depending on their business needs.'

Related: 35 Interview Questions For A Cloud Engineer (With Answers)

4. Why do businesses opt for virtual machines instead of original hardware?

This question provides an opportunity to showcase your in-depth understanding of virtualisation and its benefits. You can explain the benefits of virtual machines over regular hardware and how it helps businesses utilise resources efficiently.

Example: 'Virtualization reduces infrastructure investments as you can split one physical server into multiple virtual machines, each handling different operating systems. For instance, if the business requires two different operating systems, normally you would purchase two servers to handle these two operating systems. With virtualisation, we can operate multiple operating systems simultaneously on the same system.

Businesses prefer VMs over original hardware as they are more agile and offer an immediate return on investment. It also helps improve resource planning, make better-informed IT decisions, reduce operational costs, ensure reliability and security and reduce the time spent on identifying and resolving system issues. These numerous benefits make virtualisation an attraction option for enterprises of all sizes.'

Related: Common Operating System Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

5. Which one is better: type 1 or type 2 hypervisor? Why do you think so?

This question tests your decision-making skills. There might be situations in the job where you might choose between the type 1 and type 2 hypervisors. You can structure your response by highlighting the key differences between these two types of hypervisors and then explaining why you prefer one over another.

Example: 'A type-1 hypervisor is similar to a light-weighted operating system and runs on the host device directly. When using the type-1 hypervisor, we do not require a base server OS as it offers direct hardware access. Popular examples include Citrix XenServer and VMware ESXi. A type-2 hypervisor cannot run directly on the underlying host. It runs as an application on the host like other common software programs. Common examples of the type-2 hypervisor include VMware player and VMware server.

I prefer type-1 hypervisor over type-2 since they do not rely on the underlying system OS. Since type-2 hypervisors rely on the underlying OS they lose efficiency, speed and performance. Also, type-1 hypervisors offer better security protection against malware and other digital attacks compared to type-2 hypervisors.'

Related: 16 In-Demand Tech Skills To Have For Technology Careers

6. What is the difference between a clone and a template in virtualisation?

The interviewer might include this question, especially if the role requires you to create clones and templates on virtual machines. In your response, you can briefly describe the usage of clones and templates and explain how they are different from each other.

Example: 'A clone is an identical copy of a parent virtual machine. Despite being the same as the parent, the IP addresses and UUIDs of both clones and parents are different. Any changes to the clone do not impact the parent and vice versa. A template is a master copy of the virtual machine and we can use it to make several clones.

It is possible to turn on/off a close, while we cannot turn on/off or edit a template. Clones work best to test a new environment or for disaster recovery purposes. Templates work well for the deployment of mass VMs in production environments. Another key difference is that it is impossible to convert a cloned VM back to the original VM, while we can convert a template back to the original VM and update it with the latest configuration before converting it back to a template for future deployments.'

Related: How To Become A Network Engineer: A Complete Guide

7. What would be your priorities when choosing a virtualisation platform?

As a virtualisation professional, there may be scenarios when you choose the right virtualisation platform based on the enterprise requirements. The interviewer might ask this question to evaluate if you demonstrate the right skills and knowledge to handle this aspect of the role. You can answer this question by listing the key factors that you use to select the right virtualisation platform.

Example: "In my previous role, I had to select a virtualisation platform for the company as it was the first time, we were implementing virtualisation. I compared popular platforms on five critical factors such as proven technology, integrated management, reliability, high availability and disaster recovery. This helped me pick a winning solution, which met the requirements of the organisation while delivering maximum performance, cost-effectively."

Related: 13 Examples Of Useful Data Virtualisation Tools

Virtualisation Interview Tips

Here are a few helpful tips that can help you answer virtualisation questions confidently in an upcoming interview:

  • Review your knowledge of virtualisation concepts. You can use video tutorials, books or other online resources to revise core virtualisation concepts and techniques so that you can answer related questions confidently.

  • Practice answering questions. You can role-play an interview scenario with a friend or colleague. This helps to improve your posture, delivery techniques and build your confidence.

  • Read the job description carefully. Understand the role you are applying for by identifying the specific tools, techniques and requirements mentioned in the job description. You can demonstrate your relevance to the position by highlighting the required skills and experience in your answers.

  • Use the STAR interview response technique. The situation-task-action-result (STAR) interview response method is a powerful way to structure your responses. It helps to explain a relevant situation and how you achieved the desired results by taking the right actions.

  • Review the company's past interview questions. Try finding past interview questions by searching for 'company name virtualisation interview' and practice solving these questions.

  • Showcase your logical reasoning and critical thinking skills. Interviewers often evaluate candidates based on their reasoning aptitudes. So, structure your responses to demonstrate your critical-thinking capabilities.

  • Ask questions. You can showcase your interest in the position and company by asking relevant questions.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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