What are thin hypervisors and are they more secure than other hypervisors?
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
Type 1 (bare-metal) hypervisors benefit virtual environments by serving as the only interface between virtualized workloads and the underlying hardware. There is no underlying operating system because the hypervisor acts as the OS for all practical purposes.
Thin hypervisors, on the other hand, are OS-independent, with the goal of running as efficiently as possible with minimal computing overhead. Minimizing the hypervisor also reduces the attack surface by limiting the number of ways malicious code could reach the hypervisor. Keeping the hypervisor simple helps keep it secure.
For example, VMware removed the console operating system from vSphere 5.1. Removing extra software reduces potential vulnerabilities. VMware claims this move makes the hypervisor much smaller, simplifies its deployment and reduces the need for patching.
The vendor also added two additional capabilities to address security. First, you can only install software with digital signatures on a vSphere host, which makes it almost impossible for unsigned software -- such as malware -- to make its way onto the virtual server. The hypervisor also includes application programming interfaces that enable monitoring and management without agents that could be compromised with malware.
Dig Deeper on Virtualization security and patch management
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
Our team carefully selected our EBS volumes, but our application performance is still slow. How can we improve Amazon EBS performance?continue reading
Direct connections provide a more efficient way to move data to the public cloud. But how does my organization set one up?continue reading
Our enterprise wants low-latency performance and durable block-level storage. What types of Amazon Elastic Block Store volumes are available?continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.