The Hypervisor is the Secret Sauce Cloud Computing

The software that allows multiple virtual images to share a single physical machine is today known as a hypervisor—a layer of software running directly on computer hardware and replacing the operating system, thereby allowing the computer hardware to run multiple guest operating systems concurrently, similar to what CP offered on the old IBM 360 Model 67. Microsoft Azure uses its own.

Certain hardware, such as Intel® architecture-based servers built with hardware-assisted Intel VT and AMD Opteron 64 servers with AMD-V, minimize the overhead associated with virtualization. There are three leading open source hypervisors: Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), Xen, and QEMU.

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