What is a Bare Metal Hypervisor?

A hypervisor is a software layer that creates and runs isolated virtual machines over hardware. Bare metal is a physical server whose hardware resources are dedicated entirely to a sole tenant.

Bare metal hypervisors are used extensively for enterprise-level computing. As the name suggests, a bare metal hypervisor, also called a Type I or Native hypervisor, is virtualization software that runs on host machine hardware directly. This means that the bare metal hypervisor is the host or the operating system (OS) of the hardware. In other words, the bare metal hypervisor can directly access the hardware resources of a bare metal machine without having to load an underlying OS first.

Differences between Bare Metal and Hosted Hypervisors

A bare metal hypervisor differs from a hosted hypervisor based on the following attributes:

Hypervisor/Attributes Bare metal hypervisor Hosted hypervisor
Alias Also known as Type 1 or Native hypervisor Also known as Type 2 hypervisor
Hardware access Can access the hardware directly Accesses and uses the hardware resources via the underlying
operating system
Virtualization Hardware-based virtualization Operating System based virtualization
Operation The hypervisors run the guest OS and its applications The hypervisor runs on the underlying operating system
Scalability Highly scalable since it is not dependent on an underlying
Its reliance on the underlying OS makes it less scalable
Speed Faster as it can access hardware resources directly Slower because of the dependence on the underlying OS
Performance The absence of a middle layer makes its performance good The presence of a middle layer (underlying OS) reduces
performance as it runs with extra overhead
Suitability Well suited for enterprise setups and large deployments Well suited for personal/small deployments
Security Run directly on physical hardware without underlying OS,
and are hence secure from the vulnerabilities of the OS
Are subject to the vulnerabilities of the OS, and are hence
less secure
Cost Higher cost Comparatively lower cost
Example Implementations VMWare ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V Server, and open-source KVM Oracle VM VirtualBox, VMware Workstation Pro, VMware Fusion

Benefits of a Bare Metal Hypervisor

Improved Performance

Since bare metal hypervisors do not have to deal with the inherent limitations posed by the underlying OS, they have better performance.

Enhanced Security

Bare metal hypervisors run directly on physical hardware without the need to pass through an underlying OS, making them secure from OS-related flaws and vulnerabilities. These hypervisors ensure the logical isolation of every guest VM, making it immune to malicious software and activities.

Lower Latency and Increased Speed

Since virtualization is done over the underlying hardware directly, latency is lower in bare metal hypervisors. Bare metal hypervisors are comparatively faster than hosted hypervisors.

Scalability and Fault Tolerance

Their independence from an underlying OS makes bare metal hypervisors highly scalable and fault-tolerant.

Better Hardware Utilization and Hardware Availability

Since bare metal hypervisors can access the hardware resources directly, they have excellent hardware utilization and the hardware resources are valuable on-demand and can be allocated to multiple VMs with ease.

What is a Hyper-V Hypervisor?

Microsoft created its own hypervisor, Hyper-V, which is included in the professional versions of Windows 10 or Windows 8. Hyper-V makes it possible for Windows users to create their own virtual machines. In these virtual machines, you can virtualize a complete hardware infrastructure with RAM, hard disk space, processor power and other components. A separate operating system then runs on this basis, which does not necessarily have to be Windows.

Why Hyper-V is a Type-1 Hypervisor

Microsoft Hyper-V is a Type-1 hypervisor since it is installed on top of the hardware and beneath the parent OS and any guest OS installed on virtual machines. Thus, Hyper-V can access the hardware directly, allowing any VMs installed on the server to utilize the advantages of direct access to the hardware – faster speeds, better performance, and high scalability. The host OS, or the OS where Hyper-V is installed, transitions to become the parent VM, and other guest operating systems installed in separate virtual machines, are treated as child VMs, still able to utilize the advantages of the bare metal hypervisor.

Parallels RAS Supports Major Hypervisors

One trend that is gaining momentum and is closely tied to the concept of hypervisors is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). VDI uses virtualization to create virtual desktops that can be delivered to any client, in any location.

A VDI solution is as good as the hypervisor being used. If the hypervisor being used is a bare metal hypervisor, then chances are the VDI solution becomes better suited to meet all needs, is scalable, stable and can offer better performance without compromising security.

The best bet to help you achieve the desired results when using hypervisors is Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS). Parallels RAS is a virtualization solution that enables VDI deployment and delivery of applications and desktops using your desired bare metal hypervisor. Parallels RAS allows you to group VMs based on the type of hypervisor, monitor resources, deploy servers and VMs and manage connected devices from a single pane of glass.

Parallels RAS not only supports bare metal hypervisors but also supports hosted hypervisors. Additionally, you can use multiple hypervisors under the same infrastructure, and manage them using the Parallels RAS Console with ease. It supports major hypervisors and hyper-converged systems such as Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, Scale Computing HC3 and Nutanix Acropolis. This makes it one of the few solutions in the market with the flexibility to choose the hypervisor of your choice, create a mixed infrastructure, and manage it centrally.

If you are looking for a solution that can manage your bare metal hypervisor infrastructure from a single pane of glass, download the 30-day trial of Parallels RAS today!