What is a Hypervisor?
What is a Hypervisor?

Virtualization has become a critically important focus of the IT world in recent years. Virtualization technologies are used by countless thousands of companies to consolidate their workloads and to make their IT environments scalable and more flexible. If you want to learn cloud computing, you'll simply have to absorb the basic virtualization technology concepts at some point. 

This course will give you all the fundamental concepts to understand how Virtualization works: why it's so important and how we moved from Virtualization to cloud computing. As a beginner course, you will find how Virtualization helps companies and professionals achieving better TCO and how it works from a technical point of view. Learn what is an hypervisor, how virtual machines are separated inside the same physical host and how they communicate with lower hardware levels. If you want to start a career in the cloud computing industry, you will need to know how the most common virtualization technologies works and how they are used in cloud infrastractures. 

A consistent part of this course is dedicated to the description of the most common technologies like: VMware, XEN, KVM and Microsoft Hyper-V. You will learn how they are used in the most common public cloud infrastructures and when to use them based on your needs. 

Why you should know about Virtualization

As a fundamental technology for the cloud computing industry, learning how Virtualization works will give you several advantages for your career. You will understand technical and economical advantages introduced by Virtualization in the modern public cloud environments. You should watch this course before start learning about cloud computing and other cloud related technologies.


In order to start creating virtual machines, you need a hypervisor.

A hypervisor, or virtual machine monitor (VMM) is a software layer between the host machine, the physical server, and the guest machines, the virtual machines. It interacts with hardware and provides an interface to share the available resources with the guest operating systems.

Bare metal hypervisor vs hosted hypervisor

There are two different kinds of hypervisors, bare metal and hosted. Bare metal hypervisors run directly on the host's hardware, control available resources, and manage guest operating systems. Bare metal hypervisors are micro-operating systems that enable virtualization on your computers. This model represents the classic implementation of virtual architectures and enterprise infrastructures.

Hosted hypervisors run in a standard operating system environment, and are the best choice to run virtual machines on your laptop or desktop, because you can use them like any other application.

Bare metal hypervisors are more suitable for server installations because they are more stable and have minor resource overhead due to their virtualization optimized kernels. VMware Workstation or Virtualbox are two common examples of Hosted Hypervisors. Citrix Xenserver and VMware ESX are bare metal hypervisors instead.

About the Author

Antonio is an IT Manager and a software and infrastructure Engineer with 15 years of experience in designing, implementing and deploying complex webapps.

He has a deep knowledge of the IEEE Software and Systems Engineering Standards and of several programming languages (Python, PHP, Java, Scala, JS).

Antonio has also been using and designing cloud infrastructures for five years, using both public and private cloud services (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, Openstack and Vmware vSphere).

During his past working experiences, he designed and managed large web clusters, also developing a service orchestrator for providing automatic scaling, self-healing and a Disaster Recovery Strategy.

Antonio is currently the Labs Product Manager and a Senior DevOps Engineer at Cloud Academy; his main goal is providing the best learn-by-doing experience possible taking care of the Cloud Academy Labs platform.

Covered Topics