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Hypervisor

Definition

A hypervisor, also known as a virtual machine monitor (VMM), is a piece of software, firmware, or hardware that creates and manages virtual machines. It separates a computer’s operating system and applications from the underlying physical hardware. This allows multiple different operating systems to run simultaneously on a single host computer.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Hypervisor” is: /ˈhaɪpərˌvaɪzər/

Key Takeaways

  1. Virtualization Management: Hypervisor, also known as Virtual Machine Monitor, is a critical technology used to manage and monitor virtual machines (VMs). It acts as a control panel allowing for the creation, modification, and destruction of VMs.
  2. Types: There are two types of Hypervisors – Type 1 (Bare-Metal) runs directly on the system’s hardware and manages guest operating systems, while Type 2 (Hosted) runs within a conventional operating system just like any other software. Examples include VMware, Hyper-V, and VirtualBox.
  3. Benefits: Hypervisors increase efficiency by allowing for multiple operating systems to run on a single machine thus saving cost in physical hardware. They increase security by isolating each VM which prevents any potential malware spreading from one VM to another. They also promote reliability and facilitate easy migration of VMs from one physical server to another.

Importance

The technology term “Hypervisor” is particularly important because it plays a critical role in the field of virtualization. It’s a form of software that enables the creation and running of virtual machines (VMs) which helps in managing multiple operating systems from a single host computer. This capability allows for efficient utilization of resources, reducing hardware costs, increasing scalability, and enabling disaster recovery. It enhances system security as it isolates the operating systems thereby reducing the risk of a system-wide failure if one virtual machine is compromised. Thus, hypervisors contribute significantly to the flexible, reliable, and secure operations of modern computing systems.

Explanation

A hypervisor, also known as a virtual machine monitor (VMM), is instrumental in the world of virtualization. The primary purpose of a hypervisor is to create, run, and manage multiple virtual machines on a single physical host. This creation of virtual environment enables the host machine to operate multiple operating systems concurrently, isolating them from each other, yet providing each with the full capabilities that the host machine offers. These virtual machines can have different operating systems and applications based on the requirements, thus, giving the user enormous flexibility, agility and scalability.The hypervisor serves a critical role in efficient resource allocation and management. It is responsible for distributing the physical resources – CPU, memory, and storage – among the virtual machines meticulously so that every virtual machine can function effectively without hindering the performance of the others. It also oversees the performance of these virtual machines, ensuring that no single VM monopolizes the host’s resources. Apart from these, hypervisors are crucial for system health checks, fault tolerance, live migrations and backups, thereby contributing profoundly in optimizing the system performance and in the continuity of business operations.

Examples

1. VMware vSphere: It’s a type of bare-metal hypervisor, which is directly installed on the physical server. This software operates as a platform for virtual machines and allows for managing large volumes of these machines.2. Microsoft Hyper-V: This is another example of a hypervisor. It’s a native hypervisor that can create virtual machines on systems running Windows. It is designed to segment out the system and resources into separate partitions to allow different operating systems to run simultaneously.3. Citrix Hypervisor: Formerly known as XenServer, Citrix Hypervisor is a leading platform for managing virtual servers and for creating a cloud computing environment. This Enterprise-ready, cloud-proven platform with its rich set of management capabilities, has been optimized to support both Windows and Linux workloads.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is a hypervisor?**A: A hypervisor, also known as a virtual machine monitor (VMM), is a software, firmware, or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines. It allows one host computer to support multiple guest virtual machines by virtually sharing its resources like memory and processing.**Q2: What are the types of hypervisors?**A: There are mainly two types of hypervisors. Type 1, also called native or bare-metal hypervisors, run directly on the host’s hardware. Type 2 or hosted hypervisors, run on a conventional operating system (OS) just as other software does. **Q3: What are examples of hypervisors currently in use?**A: Examples of type 1 hypervisors include VMware’s ESXi, Microsoft’s Hyper-V and the open-source Xen. Type 2 hypervisors include VMware Player and VirtualBox.**Q4: How does a hypervisor help in running multiple operating systems on a single device?**A: Hypervisors provide a virtual platform on which multiple operating systems can run simultaneously without interfering with each other. It ensures that any problems in one virtual machine do not affect the other virtual machines running on the same hardware.**Q5: Is there any performance degradation when using a hypervisor?**A: As with any multiplexing technology, certain resources may be shared between operating systems leading to potential overheads. However, efficient allocation often minimizes any noticeable performance degradation.**Q6: Can different types of Operating Systems run together using a hypervisor?**A: Yes, with a hypervisor, you can run different types of operating systems on the same physical hardware. For example, you can run Windows, Linux and MacOS operating systems simultaneously on the same machine. **Q7: Are hypervisors secure?**A: Hypervisors add another layer of security by isolating the operating systems and applications from the host system. However, as with all software, hypervisors can have vulnerabilities and must be adequately protected and kept up-to-date.**Q8: What is the advantage of using a hypervisor?**A: Hypervisors increase efficiency by allowing multiple operating systems to share the same hardware resources. They also add flexibility, as different operating systems can be run for different applications on the same machine. Furthermore, they help in disaster recovery and testing new applications by isolitetly running them in a virtual environment.

Related Tech Terms

  • Virtual Machine (VM)
  • Host Machine
  • Type-1 Hypervisor
  • Type-2 Hypervisor
  • Virtualization

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