What is a hypervisor? A beginner’s guide | Ubuntu


In the realm of virtualisation and cloud computing, the hypervisor is a critical component that enables the seamless operation of multiple virtual machines (VMs) on a single host. While virtualisation is a technology, the hypervisor is its actual implementation. In this beginner’s guide, we will explore the fundamentals of hypervisors, their types, and how they differ from container runtimes. We will also review some of the leading hypervisors available today.

What is a hypervisor?

A hypervisor is a software or hardware component that enables the creation and management of virtual machines. It abstracts the underlying physical resources, such as processors, memory and devices, and allows multiple VMs (guests) to run simultaneously on a single physical machine (the host) while ensuring full resource separation. Each VM operates as a self-contained entity with its own operating system, kernel and applications. Hypervisors play a crucial role in maximising hardware utilisation. They…

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