What Is A Hypervisor? Definition | Types | Examples

Posted by Ryan Mai on

The hypervisor is a fairly old technology, but it is still super relevant for enabling virtualization. The first hypervisors to provide full virtualization were developed by IBM in 1967. They were developed as a test tool (named SIMMON) for IBM’s CP/CMS operating system.

But what exactly is virtualization? In simple terms, virtualization is a process of creating a software-based (or virtual) version of something that uses a fixed amount of storage, networking, and computational resources. It works by partitioning the underlying hardware and running each partition as a separate, isolated Virtual Machine, which has its own operating system.

Now, this is where hypervisor comes in. They make the process of virtualization feasible. In this overview article, we have explained different types of hypervisors and how do they work. Let’s start with a basic question.

What Is A Hypervisor?

Definition: A hypervisor is computer hardware, software, or firmware that creates virtual machines and then efficiently manages and allocates resources to them. Each virtual machine can run its own operating system and applications.

The computer on which the hypervisor is installed is called a host machine, and all virtual machines are called guest machines. A hypervisor makes it easy to split the resources of the host machine and allocate them to individual guest machines. It also allows you to manage the execution of guest operating systems and applications on a single piece of computer hardware.

Let’s say you have a PC with 16 GB of RAM and 500 GB of storage running on the Linux operating system, and you want to run applications that require macOS. In this case, you can create a virtual machine running macOS and then use a hypervisor to manage its resources. For instance, you can allocate it 4GB of RAM and 100 GB of storage.

From a guest machine’s viewpoint, there is no difference between the physical and virtualized environment. Virtual machines do not know that they are created by a hypervisor and that they are sharing available resources. They run concurrently on the hardware that powers them. And thus, they rely entirely on hardware’s stable operation.

Hypervisors have been around for more than half a century, but due to the increase in demand for cloud computing in recent years, their importance has become more apparent.

Types Of Hypervisors

Since the mid-1970s, two different types of hypervisors have been used to implement virtualization:

Type 1 / Bare-metal / Native Hypervisors

Type 1 hypervisor

Type-1 hypervisors run directly on the host’s hardware. Since they have direct access to the underlying hardware and do not need to go through the operating system layer, they are also called bare-metal hypervisors.

They perform better, run more efficiently, and are more secure than other types of (Type-2) hypervisors. That’s why large organizations and companies prefer bare-metal hypervisors for data center computing jobs.

While most Type-1 hypervisors allow admins to manually allocate resources based on the application’s priority, some provide dynamic resource allocation and management options.

The early hypervisors, such as the test software SIMMON, were type-1 hypervisors.

Modern Examples: VMware ESXi, Nutanix AHV, Oracle VM Server for x86, Microsoft Hyper-V.

Type 2 / Hosted Hypervisors

type 2 hypervisor

Like all computer programs, Type-2 hypervisors run on an operating system. Thus, they rely on both underlying hardware and software. The guest operating systems are built on top of the host operating system.

While these hypervisors allow you to create multiple virtual machines, they can’t directly access the host hardware and its resources. The pre-installed operating system controls the network, memory, and storage allocation. This restricts the hypervisors to make critical decisions and adds a certain amount of latency.

However, they are easy to set up and manage. They do not require a dedicated admin and are compatible with a broad range of hardware. Most developers use them for testing purposes.

Examples: VMware Workstation, VirtualBox, QEMU, VMware Player, VMware Fusion, and Parallels Desktop for Mac.


Portability: A Hypervisor can run multiple guest (virtual) machines independent of the host machine, and each guest machine can have a different operating system.

An authorized user can shift workloads and allocate memory, storage, and computing resources across multiple guest machines as per requirements. When a specific application needs more power, users can grant additional resources (from the host machine) via the hypervisor. 

Cost-efficient: If you don’t install a hypervisor, you may need to purchase different physical hardware for running or testing different applications. However, using a hypervisor, you can set multiple instances of a variety of operating systems on a single powerful physical machine. It also reduces the cost of computing resources and electricity consumption significantly.

Flexibility: Since hypervisor isolates the operating system from the underlying hardware, the associated applications no longer rely on particular hardware drivers. This makes the overall system more flexible to run a variety of software.

Secure: The isolation of each guest means an issue with one guest does not affect the others. For instance, if a malicious program corrupts all files on a virtual machine, the files and applications on the other machines are less likely to get affected.

System backup & recovery: Virtual machines are files, and like any conventional file, they can be copied and restored. Hypervisor-based replication is easier and cost-effective than other replication techniques of virtual machines. It is also hardware natural, which means one can store any duplicate file to any storage device with ease.

Read: 22 Most Interesting Facts About Quantum Computers


Compromised Performance: Because resources are shared in virtual environments (though guests remain isolated from each other), it could affect performance significantly.

Sometimes, the underlying root cause stays hidden. For example, if the load increases on one program to the point where maximum hardware allocation is met, then the guest machine is either stalled or starts to grab resources from other guests running on the same host machine. This creates a hardware shortage, which impacts the responsiveness of other active applications.

Risk: Virtualization comes with a risk because you are keeping all your eggs in one basket. If the host machine fails, all its guest machines will fail too. This kind of risk is called a ‘single point of failure.’

Increased complexity: Managing multiple virtual machines is more complex than managing a physical machine. Some hypervisors have a steep learning curve. And as virtualization becomes more popular, more new skills are required.

Making Virtualization Feasible on Home Computers

In the mid-2000s, microprocessor manufactures started adding hardware virtualization assistance to their products such as AMD-V and Intel VT-x. In later processor models, they integrated more hardware support that enabled significant speed gains. As of 2019, all modern Intel and AMD processors support virtual machine capabilities.

Hypervisors also have a place in modern embedded systems. These are mostly Type-1 hypervisors designed with specific requirements. Unlike computer hardware, embedded systems use a wide range of architectures and less standardized environments.

Virtualization in these systems facilitates greater efficiency, high-bandwidth communication channels, isolation, security, and real-time capabilities. For example, OKL4 supports various architectures, including x86 and ARM. It has been deployed on more than 2 billion cell phones, both as a baseband operating system and for hosting virtual operating systems.


Security is one of the most crucial factors in virtualization technology. If an attacker gains unauthorized access to the hypervisor, he could then gain access to every guest machine on the host software by exploiting shared hardware caches or other vulnerabilities. This type of attack is called hyperjacking.

Read: What Is A VRM (Voltage Regulator Module)? A Simple Overview

However, modern hypervisors are robust and well-protected. Although there have been a few news of small hacks, no major hyperjacking has been reported so far besides ‘proof of concept’ testing.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Bananas Store Phone Case

Bananas Store - The best place to buy phone cases

Banana Store is a global brand of accessories and cases for smartphones, from power bank, cable, charger, to all kinds of cases. Our products are for all smartphones on the market today. Including iPhone 12 Pro Max Cases. iPhone 11 Pro Max Cases, Galaxy Note 20 Cases, Galaxy S20 Cases ... There are many cute and luxurious cladding patterns here, its characteristics are very durable, good impact resistance, water resistance, and perfect fingerprint resistance. Our cladding products are widely available in international markets, United Stated (US), United Kingdom (UK), Australia (Au), Canada ...

About us

The Bananas Store was founded in 2016. We began globally and opened offices in the United States. We hit 1 million shipped pieces in 2017. With the goal of arousing self-expression, 2018 is the year we begin creating new products! In 2019, we've got over 2 million Instagram ads and cool people! In fashion and thoughtful mobile phone cases and accessories, Bananas Store is a pioneer. To transform your iPhone or Android into an accessory to brag about, we use quality materials and practical design. Bananas Store has ensured that every design is designed to protect your style and to complement it. Our products are designed to withstand drops from various heights on several different materials, to keep the phone intact, whether it is fitted with military-grade shock absorbing layers or the 10 'foot-die safety cast copper mold. For the newest smartphones, such as iPhone Xs Max, iPhone Xs or iPhone XR, we have a range of case styles. Bananas Store's Qi-certified mobile covers, screen protectors, and wireless chargers are protected by promises you can trust, in addition to attention to detail and sophistication in design. Our confidence in our products is shown by this guarantee. Our devoted customer service team is here to help if you find yourself in need of a replacement!

Our mission

Bananas Store is the world's leading brand of smartphone accessories, specializing in designing all types of mobile and tablet technology fashion cases. Since 2006, with products that cover, embellish and elevate their mobile devices, the company has helped customers express their personal style. The Bananas Store's team of design and technology enthusiasts have developed a series by collaborating with top designers from around the world and using cutting-edge technology and special materials. Suitable for all designs and all times. Rich box cover. Bananas Store is known as a dedicated address providing more than 500 types of cases for different phone lines, diverse materials, highest quality in the market, and affordable prices. With eye-catching designs that capture the heart of anyone at first sight, Bananas Store always satisfies its guests. It can be the combination of the signature and the flower on the phone case itself, or the fun, varied designs based on famous brands that are printed super sharp on the high quality case. .. and all of them always meet the three criteria: "Beautiful - toxic - substance". With the development of science, technology and technology together with the increasing demand and taste of customers, Bananas Store has been gradually upgrading workshops and always updated products, designs, and numbers. the quality and designs of the latest iphone & ipad and Samsung accessory market items. We're major believers in self-expression, so we just wanted to show it to those who dream and like to play, who decide that there's nothing lower than what's best for a shell. A phone of theirs!

Our products

Currently, the need to buy cases is huge, almost everyone who buys a phone buys the case because they want to protect the phone as well as meet the aesthetic elements for the phone. Bananas Store is a rich store with diverse designs of all materials, eye-catching colors to suit the tastes of consumers, especially for young people. IRing Ring Attachment Case, cute photo print back cover, tempered glass back cover, high-grade plastic panel with unique 5D printing technology, ... in large numbers currently available at Ha Duc Accessories All are enough for the most popular smartphones on the market such as iPhone, Samsung, Oppo, ... Printing workshop with the most modern printing technology closed line from Japan UV printer MIMAKI ultra large format 2.4m X 1.8m. The machine uses 8 RICOH GEN5 embossed 5D - 10D nozzles as required for true, fresh colors like a FULL HD photo 3 times sharper than conventional printers, along with the function of coating the textures. Small highlights and beauty for the product, French ink is extremely durable and safe for users. In addition to phone cases, Bananas Store also provides a number of other accessories such as camera sticks, charger toads, charging cables, technology toys, music speakers, romoss backup batteries, technology items, ... The variety, variety, price corresponding to that quality is what can be said about the phone cases that Bananas Store offers to the market. Moreover, with easy online payment policy, fast shipping and reputable return warranty, Bananas Store is always a reliable address for customers around the world who import wholesale and retail phone cases. FOR FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT: Add: 2220 Meridian Blvd, Suite #FB114, Minden, NV 89423, US Email: