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What Is a Hypervisor?

Published on July 30, 2021 · Updated on July 30, 2021
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By Jeanelle Horcasitas
Technical Writer
What Is a Hypervisor?

A hypervisor is software that creates, runs, and monitors virtual machines (VMs). The physical hardware that a hypervisor is running on is referred to as a host. The hypervisor shares the host’s resources — such as CPU, memory and storage — among various guest VMs. A hypervisor provides the flexibility to run virtual machines that use operating systems different from the one run by the host machine. For example, a hypervisor running on a machine that uses Windows can create VMs that run Linux-based operating systems, and vice versa.

Hypervisors have been integral to the development of [cloud computing] (https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/what-is-the-public-cloud). Consider virtual private servers, which are an example of individual VM instances that have been virtualized and optimized by a hypervisor on a larger host machine within a cloud provider’s data center.


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Technical Writer

Educator and writer committed to empowering our community by providing access to the knowledge and tools for making creative ideas into a reality

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