An embedded hypervisor is a hypervisor that is programmed (embedded) directly into a processor, personal computer (PC) or server. This architecture offers convenience at the cost of some flexibility compared with conventional hypervisors. However, for many users, the small footprint and integrated functionality of the embedded hypervisor more than make up for a potential lack of robustness.
Features of embedded hypervisors include:
- Reduced exposure to attack by malicious hackers.
- Minimal required number of drivers.
- Ability to run on multi-core processors and diverse virtual machines.
- Storage of all virtual machine images on a single storage area network (SAN).
- Ability to boot up from virtual machine images instead of from a hard disk or removable media.
- Ability to browse the Internet and use e-mail independently of the operating system (OS).
- Use of high-level operating system (OS) interfaces for writing and editing application programs.
- High speed, low latency and minimal demand on system resources.
Some computer and server vendors are shipping new machines with embedded hypervisors.