What is hypervisor used for?

What is hypervisor used for?


Hyper-V is a hypervisor-based virtualization technology for certain x64 versions of Windows. The hypervisor is central to virtualization. It is the processor-specific virtualization platform that allows multiple isolated operating systems to share a single hardware platform.

Partitions do not have access to the physical processor or control processor interrupts. Instead, they have a virtual view of the processor and run in a virtual memory address region that is private to each guest partition. The hypervisor controls processor interrupts and redirects them to the corresponding partition. Hyper-V can also employ hardware acceleration for address translation between different guest virtual address spaces using an input-output memory management unit (IOMMU) that operates independently of the memory management hardware used by the CPU. An IOMMU is used to remap the physical memory addresses of the guest memory.

Free hypervisors

We have already seen in previous articles the advantages of using virtual machines as a valuable resource for testing and running all kinds of software, as well as tips to speed up and improve their performance. Today we wanted to go into the operation, differences and offer of the tools that make it possible and that are available for free for a consumer user.

Thus, all hypervisors allow you to run virtual machine environments on a host machine, but despite their similarities they operate differently under two broad classifications.

Also known as a bare-metal hypervisor, it runs directly on the host machine hardware. Microsoft Hyper-V is an excellent example of this type. It requires no additional external software installations and directly manages the guest operating system.  VMWare ESX and vSphere; Citrix XenServer and Oracle VM are hypervisors of this type.

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Known as a hosted hypervisor, it is installed on the operating system like any other software.  The virtual machine environment runs as a process on the host machine and also shares the computer hardware, but virtual machine management is routed through the host rather than executing commands directly. The consequence of this solution is a slight latency between actions although it depends a lot on the machine capacity and allocated resources.  VirtualBox, VMware Workstation and VMware Workstation Player are examples of a Type 2 hypervisor.

Hypervisor examples

Software containers are considered a revolution in the world of server management. The idea of isolating applications in virtual environments is not new, but with platforms such as Docker container, users now have new features that make it much easier to use containers on servers. However, what are the advantages of these…

Container technology has revolutionized traditional application virtualization, promising more flexibility, greater scalability and unsurpassed ease of use. Linux containers (LXC) are a good example of this, but before implementing them, it is worth taking a look at their features, advantages, disadvantages, practical uses and limitations.

Type 1 and 2 hypervisor

The main technological problem that hypervisors have solved is that most physical computers could only run one operating system at a time. This limitation often resulted in wasted resources, as a single operating system rarely fully utilized the capacity of the hardware.

As software, hypervisors decouple the operating system and applications from the physical host. This decoupling provides a number of benefits, including the ability to easily and quickly migrate the virtual machine from one host to another without interruption. This capability, called live migration, is essential for workload balancing. Live migration also occurs automatically in the event of a node failure, providing high availability and increased uptime.

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Virtualization saves costs by reducing the physical footprint, which in turn reduces power, cooling and maintenance costs. Virtualization also greatly improves agility and speed in IT service delivery. For example, it is much easier to get a virtual machine rebooted than it is to provision new environments to meet customer requests.