Nested Virtualization


Nested virtualization is a complex process that involves running virtual machines within virtual machines. This process is made possible through the use of hypervisors, which are specialized software programs that manage the operating systems needed within virtual environments. Hypervisors are responsible for allocating essential resources like processing power, memory, and other resources that your virtual environments require to function.

What Are the Benefits of Nested Virtualization?

Nested virtual machines offer many advantages over traditional on-premise solutions. Here are a few of the most notable benefits of nested virtualization:

  • Enhanced flexibility. The ability to host virtual environments within virtual environments allows you to develop and test software on your own terms and provides you with flexible sandbox environments that you can adapt to your needs.
  • Significant cost savings. Physical equipment is expensive, maintaining it adds to those costs, and having the right staff on hand costs even more. With nested virtual machines, you only pay for the resources you are using. That means no overspending on equipment that you’re not maximizing fully.
  • Support for multiple hypervisors. Not all hypervisors are created equally. You may require a specific hypervisor that is compatible with the virtualization environment that you are creating. Most cloud-based environments will support the most popular hypervisors on the market.
  • Easy to scale. The goal of any company is to grow. Cloud-based nested virtualization is a scalable solution. You can easily add additional processing power, memory, and other essential resources as needed.

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When Should I Use Nested Virtualization?

Nested virtualization is the ideal solution for companies that require virtual environments for development, testing, QA, sales demos, virtual POCs, and more.

This technology provides you with a scalable solution that your company can integrate to boost productivity, improve the customer experience, and ensure that your software works as intended in the environments that your customers will use it in.

Nested Virtualization Performance Explained

The nested virtualization performance that you achieve will depend on the virtual environments that you deploy. You can select the number of resources that you want to allocate when deploying your nested virtualizations.

Hypervisors play an important role in regulating performance in your virtual environments. They bridge the gap between the hardware and the operating system, ensuring that your environments are able to perform as expected.

There are two main types of hypervisors that you can implement in your sandbox environments:

  • Type 1 “bare metal” hypervisors are installed directly on the target computer where the virtual environments will exist. This is the ideal option if you intend to run multiple virtual servers on a single computer. The most popular type 1 hypervisors include Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and VMware ESXi.
  • Type 2 “hosted” hypervisors are necessary for network virtualization in the cloud. These hypervisors are a form of hosted software that operates within the hosted system itself. A type 2 hypervisor is still capable of running multiple operating systems. They are the ideal choice for companies that want to test multiple operating systems. The most popular type 2 hypervisors include Microsoft VirtualPC, VMWare, and VMWork.

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