A VM (virtual machine) is an OS (operating system) instance and accompanying applications that exhibit the behavior of a separate computer but does not require its own dedicated hardware to run. Rather than interact directly with the underlying hardware, each VM (called a virtual OSE in licensing documents) utilizes the services of a special shared software layer, called a hypervisor, which emulates hardware resources such as CPU and memory, while giving each VM the impression that it has complete control of the underlying hardware.

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