What Is a Hypervisor? Is It Different From a Virtual Machine?
As businesses move towards virtualization, it’s important to understand key terminologies such as a “hypervisor” and “virtual machine.” These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they represent different functions within the virtualization process.
First, let’s define what a virtual machine is. Simply put, it’s a software emulation of a computer system. A virtual machine (VM) resides on a physical machine and creates an isolated environment that behaves as if it’s a separate computer. VMs can run a different operating system or have different software installed, making them a useful tool for testing, developing, or running multiple applications on one machine.
Now, let’s dive into the hypervisor. A hypervisor, also known as a virtual machine monitor (VMM), is the software that creates and manages VMs. Think of it like a virtualization layer between the physical machine’s hardware and the virtual machines. Hypervisors are responsible for allocating resources such as CPU, memory, storage, and input/output operations to VMs.
There are two types of hypervisors – bare-metal and hosted. Bare-metal hypervisors are installed directly on physical hardware and have direct access to those resources. Hosted hypervisors run on top of an existing operating system like a software application.
So, how are hypervisors different from virtual machines? Hypervisors create and manage VMs, while VMs are the software emulation of computer systems that run on top of the hypervisor. Think of the hypervisor as the foundation of virtualization, while VMs are the building blocks.
In conclusion, a hypervisor and a virtual machine are two different but interconnected concepts. They work together to provide a virtualized environment that helps businesses run multiple applications and operating systems on a single machine. With a better understanding of these terms, businesses can make informed decisions on their virtualization strategy.