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Hypervisor, also known as a virtual machine monitor, is a process that creates and runs virtual machines (VMs). A hypervisor allows one host computer to support multiple guest VMs by virtually sharing its resources, like memory and processing. Hypervisors make it possible to use more of a system’s available resources, and provide greater IT mobility, since the guest VMs are independent of the host hardware. This means they can be easily moved between different servers.

Generally, there are two types of hypervisors. Type 1 hypervisors, called “bare metal,” run directly on the host’s hardware. Type 2 hypervisors, called “hosted,” run as a software layer on an operating system, like other computer programs.