Jezper - Fotolia

Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

Do you need a VMware Type 2 hypervisor?

VMware has expanded its virtualization product line dramatically, but the core of the company lies within its popular hypervisor technology.

Most systems administrators are familiar with the different types of hypervisors from VMware. There's ESXi, which is categorized as a Type 1 hypervisor, and runs on servers. VMware also has several Type 2 hypervisors for use on laptops and desktops.

While a Type 2 hypervisor doesn't offer the same performance as a Type 1 hypervisor, the flexibility to run virtual workloads on commodity hardware does have its merits in certain situations. This compilation of recent articles on VMware's Type 2 hypervisors can explain what a Type 2 hypervisor is used for and which of the latest offerings from the company best fit your needs.

What's the difference between a Type 1 and Type 2 hypervisor?

A Type 1 hypervisor runs on bare metal, which means it doesn't need an operating system to function on a server. A Type 2 hypervisors requires an operating system to run, so while it's not a workhorse for running multiple VMs, this tip describes several of its benefits for administrators.

What are some use cases for a VMware Type 2 hypervisor?

While VMware produces three varieties of its Type 2 hypervisor, each one is tailored for different hardware and technical needs. These products -- Fusion, Player and Workstation -- fill a particular niche for its consumer hypervisor products. This tip explains a few of the use cases for each offering.

What are some key VMware Workstation features?

VMware Workstation allows a user to run multiple virtual machines in their Windows and Linux operating systems, provided the hardware requirements are met. It features the capability to run multiple guest operating systems -- more than 200 are supported, at last count -- but there are also some provisioning and networking enhancements in Workstation 11 that could prove useful in test and development scenarios.

Is Fusion 7 Pro worth the price?

VMware recently released its Type 2 hypervisor for Apple users. In a twist from previous Fusion offerings, VMware has made a professional and a standard version with the former offering more powerful features. One key perk in the professional version is the ability to export OVF files. Contributor Stuart Burns writes about some of the other changes and weighs in with his opinion on the changes with this version of Fusion.

Dig Deeper on VMware Workstation, Fusion and Player

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Do you use a Type 2 hypervisor? Which one and for what purpose?
We use VMware Fusion Type 2 hypervisor to support guest virtual desktops through coordination calls for CPU, disks, networks and memory. This makes things easier for the end user as he is able to run the virtual machine on a personalized computing device. This type of hypervisor is also custom-enabled to operate as an application on the existing operation system which assists in testing new applications, operating multiple systems and allows for failover clustering.
I am a technical writer and a telecommuter. My responsibilities also include creating internal training material. I use the Oracle VirtualBox freeware type 2 hypervisor to run both a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 server (minum installation) and a CentOS 7 (Gnome desktop) 86x64 architecture virtual machines on my i386 32 bit HP EliteBook 8470p laptop. This allows me to createi in effect, a virtual home lab on my PC which I use for training purposes. VirtualBox provides a network bridging configuration that actually puts the virtual machines on the same LAN as my PC  and, in effect, turns my PC NIC into a virtual hub for the virtual machines. Students on the same LAN can connect to the VMs via SSH and exercise system administration tasks on the VMs in a safe non production environment.
Type 2 hypervisors took advantage of the fact that OS made virtualizations relatively easy. The host OS now comes with a scheduled CPU timing and allocated memory. It makes resource-abstraction easy with a reuse of:
  • Host OS's device drivers.
  • Communication software.
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs).
Type 2 hypervisors run in an OS environment, are less expensive than Type 1, and are easy to install. I prefer using Type 2 to experiment with virtualization.