Hypervisors are significant in technology because they enable you to operate several virtual machines (VMs) on just one physical server. They’re also required for virtualization, which may increase your IT infrastructure’s flexibility, security, and effectiveness. Moreover, a hypervisor may be placed on a computer to securely run several operating systems like Solaris, macOS, Windows, and Linux. They’re frequently used to operate various servers, build applications, test systems, and reduce operating expenses.
However, not all hypervisors are created equal. Hypervisors are classified into two types: type 1 and type 2. In this post, you will learn about the benefits and drawbacks of each kind, the differences, and how to select the ideal one for your virtualization requirements. But before that, let us first discuss how hypervisors work.
How Do Hypervisors Work?
First known as a virtual machine monitor (VMM), a hypervisor enables a server computer to handle many guests’ virtual machines (VMs) by transferring resources. This includes things like storage, memory, and processing power. Throughout the operation, the hypervisor conceptually divides every VM and gives it its allocated computer resources. This guarantees that the VMs run smoothly and don’t interfere with one another. For instance, when one VM fails or suffers a security compromise, the others are unaffected. There are two types of hypervisors, which we shall discuss in further detail below.
What Is a Type 1 Hypervisor?
A type 1 hypervisor, often known as a bare-metal hypervisor, is a virtualization program used to build virtual computers above computer hardware. Direct hardware installation enables type 1 hypervisors to be more secure, efficient, and faster than type 2 hypervisors. Type 1 hypervisors are often deployed on server hardware because they can use the huge number of processing cores in most servers. Type 1 hypervisors may also communicate with other type 1 hypervisors, which is essential for achieving high availability and load balancing on a server.
Hypervisors of type 1 offer several benefits over hypervisors of type 2. They provide better security, stability, and performance because they have fewer expenses and fewer levels to travel through. They could also handle more VMs and more complicated workloads since every VM may be given additional resources. They’re suitable for enterprise-level virtualization, where efficiency, dependability, and scalability are essential.
Type 1 hypervisors have certain limitations as well. Because they require specific drivers and hardware, requiring additional configuration and initial setup. They’re also less compatible and adaptable since they might only support some hardware operating systems. They are more costly and difficult to handle because they require specific equipment and abilities.
To handle numerous VMs and the server computer’s hardware, type 1 hypervisors sometimes need additional hardware acceleration or management computer software. These hypervisors can only function with this technology since managing host resources and VMs simultaneously is exceedingly time-consuming.
Examples of Type 1 Hypervisors
Type 1 hypervisors are often used as follows:
- Kernel-Based Virtual Machine (KVM)
- Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV)
- Microsoft Hyper-V
- VMware vSphere/ESXi
- Citrix Hypervisor (XenServer)
What Is a Type 2 Hypervisor?
A type 2 hypervisor, or hosted hypervisor, is virtualization software that is put above the host operating system and enables virtualization. Type 2 hypervisors are less secure, efficient, and slower than type 1 hypervisors because they run above the operating system. They’re adequate for various type 2 hypervisor tasks, such as testing a new operating system in a virtual environment.
Type 2 hypervisors are typically deployed on desktop computers because they already consist of an operating system on which the type 2 hypervisor could run. A type 2 hypervisor on a PC also allows customers to utilize virtual machines on their system without additional hardware.
There are certain benefits to type 2 hypervisors over type 1 hypervisors. They’re simpler to install and operate since they can run on any standard hardware and operating system. They’re also more adaptable and compatible since they handle various hardware and operating systems. They’re suited for small-scale or personal virtualization when cost-effectiveness, convenience, and mobility are critical.
However, type 2 hypervisors have several disadvantages. Because they have additional layers to navigate through and overhead, they provide poorer security, stability, and performance. Because they have fewer resources to devote to every VM, they could also accommodate fewer VMs and less sophisticated workloads. They’re more prone to assaults and faults since they rely on the host operating system and its applications.
When these characteristics are accessible and relevant, type 2 hypervisors may use hardware acceleration software or separate management machines. When the actual host computer cannot offer the necessary functionality, type 2 hypervisors often turn to software emulation.
Examples of Type 2 Hypervisors
Type 2 hypervisors are often used as follows:
- CentOS Virtualization
- Oracle VM Server for x86
- VMware Fusion
- Oracle Solaris Zones
- VMware Workstation
- Oracle Virtual Box
- Microsoft Virtual PC
Type 1 Hypervisor vs. Type 2 Hypervisors: What Best Suits You?
The primary distinction between the type 1 hypervisor vs. type 2 hypervisor is that type 1 hypervisors are placed directly on computer hardware, while type 2 hypervisors are deployed above the server operating system. This distinction determines how every form of hypervisor operates and what particular applications they’re best suited for.
However, a final answer regarding selecting the finest for your virtualization requirements has yet to be given. Various criteria determine it, including your preferences, objectives, workload, budget, hardware, operating system, hardware, and budget. You must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of every kind and compare them to your needs and expectations. Before making a final selection, you must also test and assess several hypervisors.
Does Using the Right Type of Hypervisor Matter?
Even though both kinds of hypervisors create virtual computers, their variances make them more suitable for various applications and hardware. Utilizing a type 1 hypervisor on a desktop PC is not ideal because installing it precludes you from using a host OS for your everyday personal duties. At the same time, Microsoft’s Hyper-V slightly avoids these concerns. Utilizing a type 2 hypervisor on a dedicated server, on the other hand, dramatically affects speed, decreases security, and prohibits you from connecting to another type 1 hypervisor that is frequently required for server operations like load balancing.
Furthermore, type 1 hypervisors are better for dedicated servers because they can fully use all type 1 hypervisor functions. Meanwhile, type 2 hypervisors are intended for usage on home computers since they’re sufficient for different development and testing applications while preserving a host OS for your general-purpose apps.