If you are curious about finding out more about the virtualisation technology, you should understand one of its core concepts which is a hypervisor. This article will tell you everything you need to know about it.
So let’s turn to some specific things to consider for the modern virtualisation technology. To be precise, we will look at the discuss the host system variations and how the guest system manifest. Guest is another name alternative to virtualisation. You can run a Windows system to host two other system like one running a Linux and another version of Windows.
What is a hypervisor?
Generally, a normal operating system uses a program called supervisor who handles all the low-level operation and interaction between hardware and software. Task scheduling, allotment of time and resources and so on, so forth, for instance. So, there is the interaction between the processes and supervisor which together interact with the hardware.
Since virtualisation enables a machine to run multiple guest operating systems simultaneously, hence the term guest. The machine which allows to run multiple guest operating system is known as the host. A full virtualisation demands an extra layer of complex programming called hypervisor which embarks on to manage way more complicated interactions.
While a generic single system architecture involves one physical machine’s processor to supervisor to hardware interactions, a hypervisor hosting three other guest virtual machines will be three of the processor to supervisor interactions and their interaction with their respective virtual machines, which altogether is handled by Hypervisor and the hardware. This process is incredibly complex and impossible to tackle without a hypervisor supervising all of these process.
Hypervisors on different machines
Therefore, a number of companies already gone down to take care of these and make hypervisors. One of the classic and arguably the most used for mapping the PC out for virtualisation is the VMware. VMware release their first VMware workstation back in the 1999 for Windows and Linux operating systems. Yet, VM has grown over the years with different changes and brought forward more robust and diverse solution which now includes taking care of cloud computing as well. Feel free to visit www.vmware.com.
For Windows operating system, Microsoft provides Windows Server as well as desktop Windows which started from Windows 8 Pro. While this is not as famous as of VMwares but it does have a large user base which is grown quite high over time. There is another popular hypervisor out there from Oracle, VM Virtual Box. This virtual box is quite powerful and runs on three of the major operating system like Windows, Linux and macOS. If you are a mac user, there are most popular hypervisor choices out there like VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. Both of these macOS’s hypervisors are dramatically robust but unlike Hyper-V or VirtualBox, both of them are paid. Even though both of the VMware Fusion and Paralles desktop are quite powerful, the free ones for mac like Oracle’s Virtual Box, VMware is not under appreciated. But then again, the more you pay the wider service you will get. VMware does manufacture high end and fantastic products but they can be expensive than the other free ones out there.
For our purpose, this is quite unnecessary to list all of the possible hypervisors out there. There are widely stick to KVM (Kernel Based Virtual Machine). The hypervisors we spoke about here are the ones you most likely to use and see on desktop systems. One of the thing, since we all have a windows system, feel free to dig a deeper with the Windows built-in hypervisor.