Not real. The term virtual is popular among computer scientists and is used in a wide variety of situations. In general, it distinguishes something that is merely conceptual from something that has physical reality. For example, virtual memory refers to an imaginary set of locations, or addresses, where you can store data. It is imaginary in the sense that the memory area is not the same as the real physical memory composed of transistors. The difference is a bit like the difference between an architect’s plans for a house and the actual house. A computer scientist might call the plans a virtual house. Another analogy is the difference between the brain and the mind. The mind is a virtual brain.It exists conceptually, but the actual physical matter is the brain.
The opposite of virtual is real, absolute, or physical.
- virtual Ethernet
A VLAN (virtual LAN) facilitates high-speed virtual Ethernet communications using memory and the system’s processor rather than actual Ethernet cards. Used in Virtual I/O Servers, administrators can dynamically create virtual Ethernet segments or restrict access to VLAN segments. Virtual Ethernets are similar to physical Ethernets in that they support multiple networking protocols. Virtual Ethernet can […]
- virtual ISP
(n.) An ISP that piggybacks its services off of a third-party provider in order to offer ISP services without the expenses and duties required in providing those services. The virtual ISP does not invest in any network, equipment or backroom/technical support needed to offer ISP services. The third-party provider handles all of the needs of […]
- virtual IP address
Abbreviated as VIPA, a virtual IP address is an IP address that is shared among multiple domain names or multiple servers. A virtual IP address eliminates a host’s dependency upon individual network interfaces. Incoming packets are sent to the system’s VIPA address, but all packets travel through the real network interfaces.
- virtual Web site
A Web site hosted on a server that shares resources with other Web sites, as opposed to a single machine dedicated to processing HTTP requests for a single Web site. Web sites on the same server will share common resources. Also called shared Web hosting. See virtual host.
- virtual camera
In 3D animation, a virtual camera is a function of the animation software that works and behaves in the same way a camera or digital camera would in real-world situations. In the software, the virtual camera is made up from mathematical calculations that determine how the object will be rendered based on the location and […]