Title: Definition, Types, and Functions of Hypervisor
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The hypervisor is a part that we cannot let go of in VPS virtualization. As one of the elements in VPS virtualization, it allows multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on a server.
VPS virtualization allows the cloud computing process to run. However, this virtualization cannot run without a hypervisor. This shows how important the role of this product is in supporting the entire cloud ecosystem. Next, how does a hypervisor work and what are its functions? We will cover it in detail for you in this article.
What is a Hypervisor?
Hypervisors is a virtualization technique whose job is to share resources and allocate them to several different operating systems/virtual machines. Programs that act as hypervisors are usually able to partition, isolate, and abstract resources on a server. It can also be called a Virtual Machine Manager (VMM).
If you use a cloud server, the OS is only a virtual machine, not the actual OS like you usually install on a PC. Its role is to manage these operating systems so that they can run simultaneously without interfering with each other’s performance.
Different types of computers will require different operating systems that are suitable for use. This is because each type of computer such as PC, mainframe, cluster computing, and others has a different system as well. We usually design it close to the operating system on the mainframe. This is so that it is capable and strong enough to manage multiple systems at once.
In the process of cloud computing, there are many systems that we have to manage. There’s not just one operating system that runs, that’s why this product exists and is needed so that this cloud computing system can run well for every virtual machine in it.
Why is the Hypervisor Important?
Hypervisor is the underlying technology behind virtualization or separation of hardware from software. IT administrators can create multiple virtual machines on a single host machine. Each virtual machine has its own operating system and hardware resources such as CPU, graphics accelerator and storage. You can install software applications on a virtual machine, just like you would on a physical computer.
The foundations of virtual machines and other virtualization technologies have made cloud computing services possible in corporate applications. These foundations allow you to efficiently scale compute services on limited hardware infrastructures. For example, different business departments can run different workloads separately by using multiple virtual machines on a single server.
Organizations use virtualization software such as hypervisors because it helps them use resources efficiently and reduces hardware investment. Virtualization provides several other benefits as given below.
- Hardware independence
The hypervisor separates the host hardware from the operating software environment. IT administrators can configure, deploy, and manage software applications without being limited by specific hardware settings. For example, you can run macOS on a virtual machine instead of an iMac computer.
The hypervisor makes managing server operating systems more efficient. Manually installing the operating system and related software components is a time consuming process. Instead, you can configure the hypervisor to create your virtual environment immediately.
Organizations use hypervisors to maximize the use of resources on physical computers. Instead of using separate machines for different workloads, the hypervisor creates multiple virtual computers to run multiple workloads on a single machine. This means faster scalability and reduced hardware spend for organizations.
The IT team can allocate memory, network, processing, and storage resources across multiple servers as needed. They have the ability to easily shift workloads between machines or platforms. When applications need more processing power, the hypervisor provides seamless access to additional physical resources.
After knowing what a hypervisor is, of course you want to get to know more about the types. Here are two types of hypervisors and their respective advantages and disadvantages for your consideration.
1. Type 1 Hypervisor (Bare Metal Architecture)
Type 1 Hypervisor is a type that runs concurrently with server hardware, so we don’t need an operating system anymore to run this type of hypervisor. The hypervisor can access the hardware directly without having to go through the operating system. Some examples of this type are VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, and Microsoft Hyper-V Hypervisor.
Pros and Cons of Type 1 Hypervisor
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Type 1 Hypervisor:
- Excess Type 1 Hypervisors
Bare Metal Architecture is very efficient in operation because this type has direct access to physical hardware resources (eg CPU, memory, network, storage, etc.). It also makes the server more secure, it will be more difficult for hackers to get in because there is no intermediary such as an OS that they can get into.
- Lack Type 1 Hypervisors
In using Type 1 Hypervisor, you usually need a separate machine. One to operate and manage virtual machines.
2. Type 2 Hypervisor (Hosted Architecture)
Type 2 Hypervisor is a type that acts as software on a server. Because it is in the form of software, this is the type that you must install on the operating system, and cannot directly access resources on the server hardware.
The way it works, on a physical server, the operating system must be installed first. Furthermore, this type runs on the operating system to run and manage several virtual machines in it. Examples of this Type 2 are VMware Server and Parallels Desktop. Type 2 can also be referred to as Hosted Architecture and tends to lead to full virtualization.
Pros and Cons of Type 2 Hypervisor
The following are the advantages and disadvantages of type 2 for your consideration.
- Excess Type 2 Hypervisors
Hosted Architecture is very useful for engineers or security analysts. They use these hypervisors to run virtual machines in order to check for malware, suspicious source code, or test applications under development.
This type of hypervisor allows easy and fast access for new operating systems apart from the host machine that is already running. Type 2 Hypervisor is a type of hypervisor that usually has additional features for guest virtual machines.
- Disadvantages of Type 2 Hypervisors
There is no direct access to physical hardware resources. This of course will reduce efficiency, Type 2 Hypervisors are more likely to lag if they handle too many virtual machines.
Therefore, the performance is not as fast as the first type of hypervisor. This Hosted Architecture also increases server security risks, because hackers are easier to enter. If they have gained access to the operating system on the host, then all virtual machines will also be affected.
Use Cases For Hypervisors
The virtualization software supported by the hypervisor has several use cases. We provide some examples below.
Employees use desktop virtualization software to emulate a version of their workstation’s computing environment on a server. This allows employees to access their work applications and files remotely.
- Resource optimization
Companies use hypervisors to consolidate multiple computers performing different functions onto a single server. For example, if production, marketing, and customer support teams run their workloads on individual physical servers, it can result in unused resources. With a hypervisor, you can host virtual machines for each business unit on a single server, even if they require different operating systems and software components.
The hypervisor captures a snapshot of the virtual machine’s previous state in a virtual machine image, which is a file that contains installation instructions, configuration, and other details of the virtual machine. System administrators can use image files to recover virtual machines in the event of a failure. There is also the ability to create backup copies or move virtual machines to another host.
- Continuation of legacy systems
Several organizations have invested significantly in software that outlasts the underlying server. The hypervisor provides the option to continue running the software by virtualizing the required hardware environment. This enables organizations to support their cloud transformation efforts with minimum disruption to existing business workflows.