Free Virtualization Software & Hypervisors

December 13, 2015

A hypervisor is a program that would enable you to host several different virtual machines on a single physical machine. These virtual machines “think” and “act” like physical machines and can be altered to more efficiently distribute the available resources.

Several virtual machines can live on a single physical machines, sharing resources as needed. The main role of hypervisor is to allocate available hardware resources to the virtual machines.

virtual-architecture

We have two major classes of hypervisors and they are defined as: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 hypervisors are commonly considered as bare metal hypervisors, in that the hypervisor software itself runs directly on top of your hardware. Type 1 hypervisors tend to enjoy much better performance than type 2 hypervisors, due in part to their direct positioning on top of hardware.

A type 2 hypervisors are commonly considered as hosted hypervisors and must be installed on top of an existing operating system. A type 2 hypervisor is great for testing and evaluation situations not so much for production purposes.

List of free Virtualization Software & Hypervisors:

Xen Hypervisor (Type 1 hypervisor) is an Open Source virtualization software designed to virtualize x86 and x64 server architectures. Xen supports Hardware Assisted Virtualization and Paravirtualization.

Oracle VirtualBox (Type 2 hypervisor)  is a cross-platform virtualization application. Oracle VirtualBox supports Hardware Assisted Virtualization and Paravirtualization.

Proxmox VE (Type 1 hypervisor) is a powerful Open Source server virtualization platform, based on KVM and OpenVZ.

Linux-VServer (Type 2 hypervisor) provides virtualization for GNU/Linux systems. This is accomplished by kernel level isolation. It allows to run multiple virtual units at once.

KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) (Type 2 hypervisor) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V).

OpenVZ Linux Containers (Type 2 hypervisor) is container-based virtualization for Linux.

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