What is Bare Metal Hypervisor? A Detailed Guide
All About Bare Metal Hypervisor
Hypervisor is another name for virtual machine monitor, which is a software program that helps you create and manage virtual machines in your computer by dividing the software and hardware components. In order to make virtualization easier, hypervisor software transfers requests between physical and virtual resources.
It’s called a bare-metal hypervisor when the hypervisor is installed on a physical system directly and can work between the hardware and operating system of the computer. A bare-metal hypervisor can sometimes be part of a computer’s firmware, along with its motherboard or other components. If that is the case, your machine must first enable the virtualization feature on the operating system.
The hypervisor divides the hardware from the operating system and for that reason, the hypervisor does not have to depend on the hardware components or drivers to work properly. It also means that a bare-metal hypervisor lets the OS and the applications work on different types of hardware components. The bare-metal hypervisor also lets different operating systems and VMs run on the same host machine.
Virtual machines here become independent because of bare metal, and as a result, they can move from one physical server to another, perform workloads, access network and storage, and perform multiple other tasks whenever necessary. For instance, if an OS associated application requires more CPU power, it can access other remote machines or virtual machines from the hypervisor virtualization software. This improves efficiency while consuming less computing power. However, there is more to bare metal than we can tell in two paragraphs. To find out more, please read the entire post.
Bare Metal Hypervisor: More Information
There are two types of hypervisors: type 1 and type 2, and bare metal is type 1. Virtualization software can be installed directly on a physical machine. Type 1 hypervisor will control the hardware of your machine along with the guest operating systems (OSes). Type 2 hypervisor on the other hand works within the operating system so that the host machine can manage the underlying hardware.
Type 1 hypervisors help you with high-volume resource management and offer better performance as well as scalability and stability because they can access the hardware directly. Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, etc are bare-metal hypervisor software.
The name “Bare metal” came from the definition of hypervisor type 1 which means there is no OS between the software and hardware. The bare metal or virtualization software is inside the hardware component such as a hard disk and that’s where you install your operating system in the first place. However, the term “bare-metal” does not only refer to hypervisors but can also define a single-tenant server. And bare metal cloud means a user renting the cloud server or the server that is hosted by the public cloud service provider.
All along, we were talking about type 1 and type 2 hypervisors. Let’s take a look at the differences between them.
What is the Distinction Between Bare Metal or Type 1 and Type 2 Hypervisors?
There are some ways in which bare metal or type 1 hypervisors differ from hosted hypervisors or type 2 hypervisors. Both type 1 and type 2 hypervisors are capable of hosting virtual machines. The type 2 hypervisor, or hosted hypervisor, runs on top of a virtual machine. In contrast, bare metal hypervisors are installed directly onto the hardware component or server. So, the main difference between bare metal and hosted hypervisors is how they are installed.
One more influential contrast between these two types of hypervisors is the number of hardware resources the virtual machine consumes. Virtual machines use different amounts of resources depending on whether they are running on bare metal or a hosted hypervisor. You are hosting the bare-metal hypervisor directly on the server, so the VM can access the hardware component directly. Virtual machines hosted on hypervisors must send a hardware access request to the operating system to run. Granting a request will affect both the performance of the virtual machine and the speed of your application development.
Likewise, bare-metal hypervisors come with more security measures than hosted hypervisors. As hosted hypervisors rely on the parent OS for running, if the OS has any vulnerabilities, the VM using that hosted hypervisor will adopt them. That’s why most developers prefer to use bare-metal hypervisors instead of type 2 hypervisors. Bare metal also offers many benefits.
What are the Use Cases of Bare-Metal Hypervisors?
Enterprises that have high requirements in terms of management, scalability, powerful security, and performance, mostly use bare-metal hypervisors. As said before, since bare metal is hosted directly on the server hardware, it does not allow the operating system to affect the performance of the virtual machine. Additionally, bare-metal hypervisors are more scalable than hosted hypervisors, whose scalability depends on the operating system. If the operating system does not support clustering or provides a limited amount of memory, the hosted hypervisor VM will take these limitations into account as well. However, bare-metal hypervisors are installed on top of a host and provide high scalability.
Additionally, bare metal provides some management tools to enable large-scale deployments for hypervisors. VMware vCenter Server or Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, or any other software hypervisor, can be used to manage large-scale deployments. Bare metal hypervisors are mostly used for their amazing features.
What are the Convincing Features of Bare Metal Hypervisors?
Bare metal hypervisors are not sharable with more than one client or customer materially. But the person you are sharing it with needs to create a multitenant environment to run a virtualized server on top of the hypervisor. But in general, the bare-metal hypervisor is the best way to use hardware resources.
If the client is using the bare metal hypervisor, it can easily eliminate the “noisy neighbour effect” of the hypervisor environment. “Noisy neighbour effect” refers to a situation in the cloud environment where a virtual machine controls a part of the hardware resource to perform for itself but all the other virtual machines connected to the resource experience a drop in their own performance. When you are using bare metal, this hardly will be the problem since it is directly installed on the server hardware and uses its resources directly.
Additionally, the server can run independently in data centres or another equivalent location that is managed by the IT service provider or provider of the IaaS service. Your organization can also rent a bare metal server with a subscription from a service provider. The other advantage of bare metal hypervisors is that they don’t require an operating system to run. However, if you let it run on the OS, the VM will have access to the services. Now let us take a look at bare-metal hypervisor’s compelling advantages.
More Advantages of Bare Metal Hypervisor-
Your organization can access more resources if you use a bare-metal hypervisor because it has plenty of advantages. Bare metal hypervisors have more benefits than bare metal and scalable solutions. If you have some workload pressure on your organization, you can choose a hypervisor especially, the bare metal and optimize the performance of your business. You can use bare-metal hypervisors if your workloads need to be twirled a little bit or run temporarily before you can ensure they are ideal for your infrastructure. Here are the most crucial benefits of bare metal hypervisors:
Data Backup and Protection
You can easily secure your virtual environment compared to traditional systems. Backup of an application’s data can only be performed after the application’s actions have been paused. However, the whole process is quite time-consuming and it can also create downtime. But with a hypervisor, you can quickly record the memory of the virtual machine using its snapshot feature. This snapshot will be stored in a hard disk for some time and you can review the snap and get backups or restoration of the same data.
Enhanced Hardware Usage
The bare metal might not be the single host of an application or machine because it uses so many resources from the hardware to host different VMs. Each machine can operate individual applications and OS on a single physical computer.
A virtual machine’s infrastructure becomes mobile since it is not dependent on the underlying operating system. You can move the virtual machine from local to remote servers with ease where you find more available resources. You can migrate the VM at any time without fear of interruption, and organizations do this process more often than you think. That’s why the process is called live migration. So, in short, you can move the VM to the same hypervisor but on a separate infrastructure. But you need to ensure that the virtual machine can run the hypervisor.
Even if you don’t separate the virtual machines individually from each other, hypervisors help you keep them isolated. Yes, they reside on the same physical server but they don’t keep records of each others’ tasks. If one virtual instance is attacked or infected by a security flaw, it does not affect the other machines. Even though the noisy neighbor effect can corrupt them, it seldom happens with bare-metal hypervisors. Therefore, these hypervisors are totally secure.
It is possible to use Xen Project as an alternative to Microsoft Hyper-V for managing organizational projects. Other free bare-metal hypervisors include XenServer, Oracle VM Server for x86, and others. Meaning, you can use them on any server hardware without much effort. A few of these bare-metal software programs are free, while others require a subscription. You can choose either a free or a paid hypervisor depending on your needs. No matter what you use, you should be able to enjoy the benefits we have outlined in this post. If you have questions about which bare-metal hypervisor to choose for your company, feel free to ask us in the comment box below or check out our other articles.