What Is Hyper-V And What Is Its Use? [Answered]

Hyper-V is short for the hypervisor, which is software used to create and run virtual machines on x86-64 systems running windows.  It is also termed a virtual machine monitor(VMM).

Hypervisors have two versions, that define the characteristics and how they virtualize. They are type 1 and type 2.

TYPE 1: Referred to as bare-metal.  The virtual machine runs directly on the physical hardware of the host device.  

Bare-metal hypervisors have direct access to hardware, and so there is no need for the host OS.

This creates the best performing virtual machine, that is frequently used for enterprise usage. Examples of type 1 virtual machine monitors are VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V.

TYPE 2:This type of hypervisor requires the host OS,  in order to create and manage a virtual machine.  Hosted virtualization is the process whereby services are run on top of the host operating system.

The host machine employs the OS to undertake specific operations such as managing memory, CPU event scheduling and the management of network resources.

The type 2 hypervisor supports a wide range of hardware as a result of its functionality, and characteristics.

What Is Hyper-V Used For?

We all know Hyper-V’s main function is to enable the creation and management of a virtual computer environment. But it has other uses apart from the standard, and we are going to discuss them.

CLIENT HYPER-V

This software is available on professional and enterprise editions of windows. Professionals use this to create environments to test on individual machines and software on a multitude of OS.

HYPER -V FOR WINDOWS SERVER

This software is for windows server operating system (Essential, Standard & Data-centre). Apart from the fact that no license is required to use this software, there are regulations you must follow when running multiple VMs.

Does Hyper-V Improve Performance?

No, it rather reduces VM performance. Below are some causes of reduced performance of your virtual machine:

  • Overloaded Logical and virtual cores
  • Running out of RAM
  • Slow storage I/O flow

These problems are however caused by hardware components, and therefore should be monitored with a keen eye, in case of abnormalities.

There are a number of ways to boost hypervisor performance, even without the financial resources available.

Note that these tips are minor optimizations, and as a result, you would see a maximum of 4% increase in VM performance.

  • Run RAM in dual channel.
  • Do not max out host OS resources.
  • Enable Hyper-V integration Service
  • Install Hyper-V on windows server core.

Is Hyper-V Safe?

Usually, when running a virtual machine, the Hyper-V host is secured, but the Virtual machine does not have adequate security on the guest OS.

This leaves the most vulnerable to attacks from a multitude of sources. There are a few ways

What Is Second Level Address Translation?

SLAT is a hardware-assisted virtualization technology that works with Hyper-V. Both Intel & AMD support this tech, but it’s called extended page table on intel and rapid virtualization index on AMD.

SLAT reduces the overhead from the hypervisor by addressing inefficiencies associated with virtualized memory addresses.

Can I Run Hyper-V Without SLAT?

No. Hypervisor requires second-level address translation, which is available in recent generations of 64-bit processors produced and distributed by Intel and AMD.

How Do I Know If My CPU Supports Second Level Address Translation?

There are a few methods you can use to check whether your processor supports SLAT.

METHOD 1

  • Download CoreInfo
  • Extract and move .exe to your drive C:
  • Open CMD
  • Run as administrator
  • Within CMD enter:
cd C:\

Followed by

coreinfo.exe -v

A list of relevant information would be displayed on your screen, depending on the processor you’re using.

METHOD 2

  • Open windows search.
  • Type Turn Windows features on and off and open.
  • Go through the list, and if there’s no Hyper-V or its unselectable, then you know SLAT is not supported.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We hope everything in this article has helped you understand what a hypervisor is, and how it functions with respect to virtualization. You can check out our other articles on virtual machines.

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