Definition

bare-metal hypervisor

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: How to choose the right VMware type-2 hypervisor
Contributor(s): Kim Hefner

A bare-metal hypervisor, also known as a Type 1 hypervisor, is virtualization software that has been installed directly onto the computing hardware.

This type of hypervisor controls not only the hardware, but one or more guest operating systems (OSes). In comparison, a client hypervisor, or Type 2 hypervisor, runs within the host OS, so the underlying hardware is managed by the host OS.

Bare-metal hypervisors feature high availability and resource management; they also provide better performance, scalability and stability because of their direct access to the hardware. On the other hand, the built-in device drivers can limit hardware support.

Examples of popular bare-metal hypervisors are Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and VMware ESXi.

This was last updated in August 2014

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