A hypervisor (also called virtual machine monitor (VMM)) allows multiple operating systems to run concurrently on a host computer — a feature called hardware virtualization.

A hypervisor

[is a] piece of software that provides abstraction of all physical resources (such as central processing units, memory, network, and storage) and thus enables multiple computing stacks (consisting of an operating system, middleware and application programs) called virtual machines to be run on a single physical host.[1]
creates a virtual platform on the host computer, on top of which multiple guest operating systems are executed and monitored. This way, multiple operating systems, which are either multiple instances of the same operating system or different operating systems, can share the hardware resources offered by the host.[2]


"Hypervisors are one of the fundamental building blocks of the cloud: they maintain the separation and privacy of neighbouring virtual machines, thereby enabling the entire ecosystem to function. Isolation between virtual machines is a key element of security, and privacy between each implementation and therefore any disruptions or breakdown to this function could lead to wide-scale interruption for all virtual machines residing on a server."[3]


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