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What is a Hypervisor?

Intermediate – Cloud Computing

Reading Time – 1 minute, 12 seconds

Hypervisor_v2cloud

What is a hypervisor? It’s a computer program that enables virtualization. This computer program is installed on top of computer hardware to create the virtualization layer that acts as a platform to create virtual machines. The hypervisor manages the sharing of physical resources among the virtual machines.

There are two main types of hypervisors. Type 1 is known as naive or bare-metal hypervisor and type 2 is also known as a hosted hypervisor or virtual machine monitor.

Type 1
Firstly, type 1 contains its own operating system and runs directly on top of the host hardware. This kind of hypervisor creates the virtualization layer on top of its operating system where the virtual machines can be created. This type is directly managed and links the hardware resources with the virtual machines. Xen, VMware ESXi, and Microsoft Hyper-v are some of the examples of type 1 hypervisors. Type 1 is more preferable to use with enterprise and cloud computing applications due to their independence on the host operating system.

Type 2
Second, type 2 is a software application that runs on top of the host operating system just like any other software program. This type of hypervisor can be installed on your computer that has a host operating system such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. This software creates the virtualization layer where the virtual machines can be created. These types of hypervisors do not have direct access to the host hardware resources.

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