Hardware Virtualization

What is hardware virtualization?

Hardware-based virtualization is used to create virtual versions of physical desktops and operating systems. For example, virtual Machine Manager is a technology used in server consolidation to improve resource usage by virtual machines. Hardware virtualization offers many benefits, such as more significant performance and lower costs.

How does hardware virtualization differ from virtualization?

Virtualization technology enables administrators to distribute resources and use infrastructure more efficiently across the enterprise. For example, virtualization is the technology that enables cloud computing by allowing different computers to access a shared pool of resources.

Virtualization technology is used in many system layers to consolidate workloads and make them more scalable and flexible. Virtualization is a technology that allows companies to use underused physical hardware efficiently. Powerful servers can use all the resources they need to perform effectively. In addition, they’re more efficient than cheaper servers because they don’t have to share them with others.

What are the components of hardware virtualization?

Hardware virtualization is structured in layers consisting of the following components:

  • The software layer, or hypervisor, runs on top of the hardware layer and creates a guest operating system. This is the hardware on which virtualization occurs. It’s the computer hardware that the operating system runs on. An x86-based system with one or more CPUs is required to run all supported guest operating systems.
  • Hypervisors create a virtualization layer that runs between the OS and the server hardware, allowing many instances of an operating system or different operating systems to run parallel on a single machine. Hypervisors are applications that run on a computer and manage virtual machines. They allow you to run multiple operating systems on a single physical computer.
  • Virtual machines are software emulations of a computing hardware environment and provide the functionalities of a physical computer. Virtual machines consist of virtual hardware, a guest operating system, and guest software or applications.

How does hardware virtualization work?

Hardware virtualization enables a single physical machine to function like multiple machines by creating simulated environments.

The physical host operates a hypervisor software program that creates an abstraction layer between the software and hardware and manages the shared physical hardware resources between the guest and host operating systems.

This lets you virtualize all your operating systems and applications, whether Windows Server 2012, Mac OS X Server, Linux, or Windows Vista, on a single physical machine. This VM is the most powerful of the VMs. This is because it uses the resources of the physical host, including CPU, memory, and storage.

In other words, hardware virtualization is the virtualization of servers. Hardware virtualization allows the total capacity of a physical machine to be used and, by isolating VMs from one another, to protect against malware.

What are the different types of hardware virtualization?

Full virtualization

The hardware architecture is completely simulated in full virtualization, allowing you to run an unmodified guest operating system in isolation. In addition, a data abstraction layer enables virtual machines to run on a shared infrastructure, providing them with the isolation and flexibility required for efficient, economical, and secure deployment.

The guest operating system is unaware that it is running in a virtualized environment, so the host operating system virtualizes hardware to allow the guest to issue commands to what it thinks is real hardware.

These are just simulated devices created by the host, and the hypervisor translates all OS calls. Virtualization isolates VMs from one another and the host OS and enables them to run anywhere. You can move VMs between hosts and even different systems without reconfiguring the VM itself.


In paravirtualization, the source code of an operating system is modified to run on top of a virtual machine monitor. This is the guest’s operating system that communicates through calls to the APIs provided by the hypervisor (known as hypercalls). In this scenario, the guest OS is aware that it is a guest OS in a virtual machine environment and receives information about other operating systems on the same physical hardware, enabling them to share resources rather than emulate an entire hardware environment. The guest OS communicates directly to the hypervisor in paravirtualization, improving performance and efficiency.

Operating system-level virtualization

Managed desktops take away a big chunk of work from the IT department, as the DaaS provider maintains and updates this cloud-based infrastructure. Downtime is minimized with a managed desktop solution, and help desk calls are considerably lowered as resource demand does not overstress end-user devices.

System-level virtualization

A managed desktop gives your organization a reliable, secure, and cost-effective way to deploy temporary workers. This system will give you total control over who can see your online business. In addition, it delivers IT complete control over what resources employees need to use.

Hardware-assisted virtualization

In virtual machine-based hypervisors, the computer’s hardware provides architectural support for the hypervisor. The combination of hardware and software allows different guest operating systems to run in isolation, preventing potentially harmful instructions from being executed directly on the host machine. Physical components include the host processors, which perform optimizations for virtualization.

Solutions for hardware virtualization must:

  • Consolidate multiple VMs onto a physical server
  • Reduce the number of separate disk images to be managed
  • Schedule zero downtime maintenance by live migrating VMs
  • Assure availability of VMs by using high availability to configure policies that restart VMs on another server in case one fails
  • Increase portability of VM images