What Are the Different Types of Hypervisors in Cloud Computing?

There are mainly two types of hypervisors in cloud computing. There’s the Type 1 or bare metal hypervisor, and there’s the Type 2 or hosted hypervisor. In this post, we will describe each type, discuss its advantages and disadvantages, discuss the things to consider when choosing one over the other, and review the benefits of hypervisors in general.

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get this show on the road.

Different Types of Hypervisors in Cloud Computing

Hypervisor technology is one of the key enablers of cloud infrastructure. By understanding the different types of hypervisors in cloud computing, you’ll better grasp the inner workings of cloud environments. This will help you make informed decisions in your cloud initiatives.

Regardless of which hypervisor you choose, the basic functionality is the same. All types of hypervisors enable you to create virtual machines (VMs). Each VM will have its own allocation of resources from the underlying infrastructure as well as its own OS. A VM’s OS is called a guest OS. The resource allocations, as well as the guest OS, can vary from one VM to another. All characteristics and capabilities of each VM are made possible by the hypervisor.

As mentioned earlier, there are two different types of hypervisors in cloud computing. We’ll discuss their differences in detail later, but let’s go over the basics of each one now.

Type 1 Hypervisors

A Type 1 hypervisor runs directly on a physical host. That’s why it’s also known as a bare metal hypervisor. Basically, you would install a Type 1 hypervisor before anything else on a physical host, so it sort of acts like that host’s operating system.

Consequently, a Type 1 hypervisor has direct access to the underlying physical host’s resources—e.g., CPU, RAM, storage, and network interface. Most cloud service providers use Type 1 hypervisors for reasons we’ll discuss soon. The most commonly used Type 1 hypervisors are VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Type 2 Hypervisors

A Type 2 hypervisor runs on top of a host OS. For this reason, it’s also known as a hosted hypervisor. So, you would have to install a host OS on your physical host before you can install a Type 2 hypervisor.

When a Type 2 hypervisor needs to communicate with the underlying hardware or access hardware resources, it must go through the host OS first. Type 2 hypervisors are usually easier to set up and use. Hence, they’re more common among end users. VirtualBox and Parallels® Desktop, the most popular solution for running Windows on Macs, are Type 2 hypervisors.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Type 1 Hypervisors

Let’s now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Type 1 hypervisors.

Advantages of Type 1 Hypervisors

Some of the advantages of Type 1 Hypervisors are that they are:

Disadvantages of Type 1 Hypervisors

Type 1 hypervisors also have some disadvantages. They can be:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Type 2 Hypervisors

Let’s now move on to the advantages and disadvantages of Type 2 hypervisors.

Advantages of Type 2 Hypervisors

Type 2 hypervisors have the advantages of being:

Disadvantages of Type 2 Hypervisors

Some disadvantages when using Type 2 hypervisors are they’re:

Best Choice among Hypervisor Solutions in Cloud Computing

In choosing the right hypervisor for your organization, you must consider certain factors such as performance, efficiency, complexity, and cost. Generally speaking, if performance and efficiency are an absolute top priority, you might have to go with a Type 1 hypervisor.

However, that would mean you’ll be dealing with a relatively more complex and expensive solution. Unless you have the in-house talent and financial resources to deploy, set up, and manage a Type 1 hypervisor, a Type 2 hypervisor might be more appropriate for you.

Generally speaking, Type 1 hypervisors are appropriate for large enterprises with dedicated IT teams, while Type 2 hypervisors are more suitable for smaller organizations. As mentioned earlier, datacenter operators and cloud service providers prefer Type 1 hypervisors. Of course, you can always hire a third party, such as a managed service provider (MSP), to manage the solution for you, but those are some of the key things you need to keep in mind.

Benefits of Hypervisors

There are so many reasons to use a hypervisor that can help you gain speed and simplify administration in a cost-effective way. Here are some of them.

Speeds Up Deployment Time

Since virtual servers you create on a hypervisor are just software, they’re much faster to provision and deploy. What’s more, you can even create multiple clones from a template VM. This benefit is even magnified when you deal with hundreds or thousands of VMs. Servers normally take weeks or months to provision and deploy and can take just a few days, hours, or even minutes when you’re using VMs and hypervisors.

Shortens Time-to-Market

By speeding up server provisioning and deployment times, you also shorten the time it takes to make services available to your end users and trading partners. This will accelerate production in your supply chain and shorten time-to-market.

Simplifies IT Administration

A virtual server already incorporates several components of an IT infrastructure, including an OS, application(s), processing, memory, and networking. Since all of that is in the form of software, a lot of your IT administration tasks will be much easier. You’ll also be able to accomplish IT-related tasks faster.

Reduces IT Staffing Requirements

Since hypervisors simplify IT administration greatly, they also reduce IT staffing requirements. Not only will you need fewer IT administrators, but the skill requirements of those staff will also not be as high. Many IT tasks that are normally only handled by senior administrators can be delegated to junior administrators.

Improves Testing Abilities

VMs can be easily spun up and down on demand in a virtualized IT infrastructure. This environment can improve your testing abilities significantly. Not only do VMs simplify testing, but also they make testing more cost-effective. That’s not all. As you adopt a testing mindset, applying various tests to software development and IT processes, you’ll be able to improve your IT systems’ reliability, security, and overall quality.

Brings Down Costs

Server consolidation, which is the hypervisor-enabled ability to run multiple virtual servers on physical hosts, allows you to use compute resources more efficiently and reduce your hardware requirements significantly. This, in turn, allows you to save on IT infrastructure costs. In addition, simplifying IT administration can likewise reduce your IT staffing costs.

Facilitates Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Hypervisors enable you to create copies as well as move VMs from one host to another. For instance, you can move VMs to a disaster recovery site or another geographical location. You can even import and export VMs from/to cloud environments. Some hypervisors even allow you to move VMs while they’re running. These capabilities can improve your disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities substantially.

Enables Automation and Orchestration

Virtualization lends itself to automation and orchestration, which can further accelerate and boost your IT infrastructure’s speed and cost efficiency. This will likewise eliminate a lot of your manual processes, thereby also eliminating human errors and improving the overall quality of your business.

Enables Cloud Computing

All these qualities are precisely the reasons why hypervisors are used extensively by datacenter operators and cloud service providers. Indeed, hypervisors are integral to and one of the key enablers of cloud computing, which paves the way for more business benefits.

Parallels RAS Supports Most Major Hypervisors

Parallels® RAS, the cost-effective, cloud-ready, all-in-one virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution, supports most major hypervisors. You can use leading hypervisors, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi as VDI hosts and manage all VMs under the same infrastructure.

For those unfamiliar with the term, VDI is a technology that allows you to deliver virtual desktops and applications to any device, anytime, anywhere. When you use VDI, your users can access applications and desktops (basically the user interface of a desktop OS) on devices that otherwise couldn’t run those applications and desktops. For example, you can deliver Windows and MS Office to a MacBook or an Android device without installing the software products in question on those devices.

Typically, the VMs that house those VDI desktops are hosted on the hypervisors we mentioned. In addition to hypervisors, Parallels RAS also supports hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions such as Nutanix Acropolis and Scale Computing HC3. Parallels RAS even supports Microsoft Azure as a hypervisor to host your virtual desktop infrastructure in the cloud. You can leverage this deployment flexibility to suit your organization’s specific needs and preferences.

By using Parallels RAS, you can deploy VDI desktops on demand automatically using customized templates. This means you can create and deploy guest VMs on the fly. Once you have a template ready, you can deploy multiple VMs instantly by selecting the template and specifying the number of VMs you need. Essentially, Parallels RAS enables you to create a virtual desktop once and then replicate it on demand.

Experience the flexibility, security, and agility of a VDI-powered workforce with a cloud-ready VDI solution that supports most major hypervisors.

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