What is Hypervisor Definition and benefits

What is hypervisor ? If you are looking for information on what a hypervisor is, then you have definitely come to the right place. This article will discuss what a hypervisor is, what it does, and what other computer related terms are often associated with it. If you would like to learn more about hypervisor technology, then all you have to do is continue reading the rest of the paragraphs in this article.

Hypervisor definition

Before going on any further to discuss the details of the hypervisor architecture and the other computer related terms that are often associated with it, perhaps it would be good to first lay down a hypervisor definition. First of all, a hypervisor is a hardware virtualization technique. It is one of the many hardware virtualization techniques that can be used to virtualize all sorts of computer hardware and run multiple operating systems. A hypervisor is often termed as a virtual machine manager or VMM, because basically what it does is virtualize hardware and manage a number of virtual machines.

A hypervisor operates on top of a single host computer and allows users to run several additional operating systems, which are referred to as guest operating systems. The term hypervisor is derived from the word supervisor, which is conceptually one level below it in terms of computer operation.

As a term, hypervisor goes way back to 1965, when it was first used to refer the IBM 360/65's pre-loaded software. Back then, it was the hypervisor's job to allow the IBM 360/65 to share the memory that it had in order to emulate the IBM 7080 while acting like a normal IBM 360. The way it worked was by going back and forth between the two modes while it was running.

According to Robert P. Goldberg, hypervisors can be classified under two different types. The first type is called Type-1 hypervisor or bare-metal hypervisor, and these can run directly on top of a computer's host hardware. Here, there's only three levels involved overall, which are the guest operating system, the hypervisor, and the host hardware itself. The second type is Type-2 hypervisor, which doesn't run directly on the host hardware but instead runs on a typical operating system that's installed on the host hardware.

Type 1 Hypervisor and Type 2 Hypervisor

Type 1 Hypervisor

Type 2 Hypervisor

Click to see Screenshots

Based on what's written above, you can see that the hypervisor and virtualization technology in general has been around for a very long time. In virtualization hypervisor is the one that facilitates hardware virtualization and allows guest operating systems to operate properly. There was a resurgence in the use of virtualization tech back in 2005. This occured mainly among Linux server vendors. The main reason why was because it allowed for better use of already existing hardware resources. Virtualization allowed computers to do much more work at once, and it gave businesses a chance to keep costs at a minimum while consolidating different server tasks and increasing productivity in server set ups.

How hypervisor works

Hypervisor is the one key component that makes virtual machines possible. It is the ingredient that you need to add in order to take one physical machine and turn it into several different virtual machines that you can then use with whatever applications you need. The hypervisor puts down a layer that separates the different software environments and the actual host hardware to ensure that interoperability issues never become a problem.

A hypervisor supports two basic modes of virtualization, and these are paravirtualization and full virtualization. In full virtualization, a virtual machine runs on what is referred to as bare metal or directly on the x86 hardware. Meanwhile, with paravirtualization, it is made apparent to the virtual machine that a hypervisor is what makes it all work nicely.

What is hypervisor in the desktop

In the desktop environment, there has also been a proliferation of hypervisors primarily for Intel-based computers running on the x86 instruction set. Two companies, namely VMWare and Parallels, Inc. , have been fighting for the top of the desktop virtualization market since the early 2000s. Some of the most popular desktop virtualization software solutions include VMWare Workstation 8 and Parallels Desktop for Mac 7. Even Microsoft has dabbled in developing and selling desktop virtualization software technology in the form of a Type 1 hypervisor named Hyper-V, which was first brought to market back in June of 2008.

What is hypervisor - the benefits

Virtualization software solutions have many different applications. For one thing, it will allow a better use of hardware to get more computing work done all at the same time. Even users at home can benefit from this type of technology, as it will allow them to run more than one operating system on top of a single host computer, ensuring that lack of backwards compatibility of cross-platform support is never a problem. For businesses, it can help maximize the budget which can then be spent on much more important things.

There is so much to do with hypervisor these days that is why making use of it today can be a huge benefit anyway you look at it.

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