Unit 4: Week 1: Configuring Virtual Machines

Unit 4: Week 1: Configuring Virtual Machines

Essential Questions

  • What can I do if I have a device with one OS, but I want to run software from another OS that is not supported?
  • Just how virtual is “virtual”?
  • How do I decide which type of virtual machine is right for me?

Big Ideas

Virtualization allows you to run different operating systems, and thus some applications that may be unique to those OS, on a computer with a different base operating system. Want to run your favorite Mac OS app on your Windows computer? Install a virtual machine running the Mac OS. Need to run some Linux commands? Install a virtual machine running Linux.

Not all computers can run virtual machines, so you’ll want to know whether your CPU can support virtualization. Virtualization is supported by an increasing number of devices that can run software, called a hypervisor, that manages those other OS installations (virtual machines). They take up memory and may not operate as fast as the base OS. Virtualization can occur on a single device, called client-side virtualization, or from a server-side virtualization.

Connection to Student Lives

As you have grown up, you may have been exposed to different OS but may have a preference for one over others. Yet, different OS have some unique features and software that you may prefer to use. If you are in the position where you only have access to one device, like a Windows-based computer, but you have to support users on another OS, like the Mac OS, running a virtual machine can help you troubleshoot issues on the Mac OS and support those users without having to run two separate computers.

This may not be something most casual computer users will need to know how to do, but since you may be called upon to support multiple OS on a help desk in the future, knowing how to deploy a virtual machine can be a useful skill you can employ on the job.

Framing Problem

How will you determine whether the CPU of a given device can support virtualization? With a CPU that does support virtualization, deploy and configure a client-side virtualization or virtual machine (VM) of a different OS.

Cornerstone Assessment

Students deploy and configure a client-side virtual machine (VM) on a CPU that supports it.

DPI Standards

  • NCCTE.2020.II21.04.02 - Set up and configure client-side virtualization.

A+ Standards

TOPIC 11A: Configure Client-Side Virtualization

1001-4.2 Given a scenario, set up and configure client-side virtualization.


  • What virtualization refers to in terms of applications OS, programs, documents, and other components
  • How to deploy, configure, and support Virtual Machines (VM)
  • The types capabilities, and uses of different virtualization technologies
  • The difference between client-side and server-side virtualization


  • Deploy, configure, a client-side Virtual Machine (VM).
  • Determine whether a CPU can support virtualization or not.
  • Ensure Guest OS are secure against viruses and using management software to detect rogue VMs.




  • Emulation
  • Guest OS

Type 2 Hypervisor (VMware Workstation™, Oracle® VirtualBox, Parallels®)

Type 1 Hypervisor: bare metal platform (VMware ESX® Server, Microsoft Hyper-V®, Citrix XEN Server)

VT-x (Virtualization Technology) and AMD-V

Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) (multiple physical processors, multicore, or HyperThreading)

Second Level Address Translations (SLAT)


Virtual Network

  • Virtual Switches (vSwitches): External, Internal, Private

Virtual Machines

  • Client-Side Virtualization
  • Server-Side Virtualization

Rogue VMs

VM Sprawl

Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)

Denial of Service (DoS)

VM escaping

Weekly Map


Introduction to problem: Configure a Client-Side Virtualization

Team meetings to develop project plan and goals


Review content resources with whole group

Small group and independent exploration of resources

Contribute to team project


Hands-on exploration: Virtual Machine

Team progress check with supervisor (using project plan)


Hands-on exploration: exploring Virtual Servers

Small group and independent exploration of resources

Contribute to team project


Team progress check with supervisor or sharing of progress with whole group

Complete Activity 111-1: Discussing Client-Side Virtualization Configuration

Online post-assessment

Lesson Ideas

In this module, students should be prepared to configure a Virtual Machine, at least a client-side virtualization. It may be difficult to provide the resources necessary to configure a server-side virtualization, but students can discuss the concepts and perhaps interview or interact with IT staff who do manage server-side virtualizations. Students should understand the pros and cons of both client-side and server-side virtualizations.

Appropriate hardware and an approved VM App are necessary to configure the client-side virtualization. If you have access to Windows 10 devices, you may want to consider using Hyper-V (seet this article from Microsoft for an Introduction to Hyper-V on Windows 10).Students should be able to determine if a CPU can support virtualization and take steps to ensure any Guest OS installed meets security requirements.

Potential Resources

The Official CompTIA A+ Core 1 & Core 2 Instructor Guide for Exams 220-1001 and 220-1002

  • Topic 11A: Configure Client-Side Virtualization (704-711)
    • Activity 11-1: Discussing Client-Side Virtualization Configuration (712)

CompTIA also offers videos for purchase through their website or on ITPro.TV.

Professor Messer at and YouTube offers numerous free videos of various lengths for many of the topics for the CompTIA 220-1001 A+ Exam. They are easy to understand, narrated videos with visuals. If you are teaching a CompTIA course, the site notes “You’re welcome to use them as much as you’d like, provided you embed the videos with the associated YouTube link or link directly to my site. Please click the “Contact Us” link at the top of our web page and let me know how you’re using them.”

Entry Level I.T. Training from Technology Gee

Articles and Other Resources

Beginner Geek: How to Create and Use Virtual Machines by Chris Hoffman. Background on VM, links to VM Apps, and some directions for setting up a VM

Does My Processor Support Intel® Virtualization Technology? From Intel support

How to find out if Intel VT-x or AMD-V virtualization technology is supported. Multiple methods shared by Tobenna Nnabeze

VDI: Server-side vs. Client-side Virtualization a short video (3:13) about the pros and cons of server-side versus client-side virtualization by CTO and founder of MokaFive, John Whaley. (Note: Includes a callout to visit MokaFive’s website.)

What is a Virtual Machine and how to set up a VM on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Beau Carnes provides step-by-step instructions for installing the free VM Virtual Box.