What is Hypervisors in Cloud Computing?

What is Hypervisors in Cloud Computing?

A hypervisor is the mastermind behind virtualization, the magic that allows you to run multiple virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical machine.

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2 min read

In cloud computing, a hypervisor, also known as a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM), is a crucial component that enables the virtualization of computing resources. A hypervisor is the mastermind behind virtualization, the magic that allows you to run multiple virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical machine. The primary purpose of a hypervisor is to manage and allocate the physical resources of a host machine, such as CPU, memory, and storage, among multiple virtual machines (VMs).

What does a Hypervisor do?

  • Acts as a thin layer: It sits between the physical hardware and the VMs, essentially creating a virtual layer on top of the physical one.

  • Allocates resources: The hypervisor decides how much CPU, memory, and storage each VM gets, ensuring fair and efficient sharing of resources.

  • Isolates VMs: Each VM operates in its own isolated environment, protected from interference from other VMs. This ensures security and stability for all VMs running on the same physical machine.

  • Manages hardware access: The hypervisor intercepts any attempt by a VM to directly access the physical hardware and translates it into requests that it can handle. This ensures smooth operation and prevents hardware conflicts.

  • Provides communication channels: The hypervisor allows VMs to communicate with each other and with the outside world through virtual networks.

Types of hypervisors used in Cloud Computing

There are two primary types of hypervisors, each with its unique characteristics.

  1. Type 1 Hypervisor (Bare Metal):

    • Installs directly on the physical hardware.

    • Offers high efficiency and performance since it has direct access to hardware resources.

    • Examples include VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V (when installed on bare metal), and KVM.

  2. Type 2 Hypervisor (Hosted):

    • Runs on top of a host operating system.

    • Suitable for development, testing, and desktop virtualization.

    • Examples include VMware Workstation, Oracle VirtualBox, and Microsoft Hyper-V (when installed on top of Windows).

Conclusion

Hypervisors play a crucial role in cloud computing by allowing cloud service providers to efficiently allocate and manage computing resources. They enable the creation of virtualized instances, or virtual machines, which can be provisioned and scaled dynamically based on the demand for resources. This flexibility and abstraction of underlying hardware contribute to the scalability and agility of cloud computing environments.

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