Definition

thin hypervisor

A thin hypervisor is an operating system-independent program that creates and runs virtual machines (VMs.) A thin hypervisor has less overhead than a traditional hypervisor, which can boost security by limiting the ways potential threats can penetrate.

A thin hypervisor has limited software and computing overhead while still running efficiently. By removing extraneous software, thin hypervisors reduce the number of potential vulnerabilities a bare-metal hypervisor might have.

A thin hypervisor is installed on the laptop or desktop, and functions as a replacement for a standard OS. The thin hypervisor also contains application program interfaces that can replace other management and monitoring tools, which reduces opportunities for the system to be infected with malware.

Hypervisor patching is often critical because the hypervisor allows multiple OSs to run on the host. A thin hypervisor's simplified structure reduces the need to patch vulnerabilities. This stripping down of the hypervisor also simplifies deployment, which can be a complex process.

This was last updated in February 2016

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