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Fast OS switching
Marc Thomas
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November 6, 2013
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July 22, 2015 - 6:45 pm
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I've often wondered about this, without using a VM.
There's a good discussion over at Super User and many have mentioned a Hypervisor.

Lexa, AR
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April 29, 2013
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July 22, 2015 - 9:01 pm
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That is interesting reading . The only way I know is with VM's. Not sure what Hypervisor is or what a KVM switch is. I wonder if one could build a machine with two or three MOBO and link them together somehow. I'm having enough headache just trying to get W10 Build 10240 to run.

Montreal, Canada
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July 24, 2015 - 7:08 am
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Reference "Another option might be two PCs with a KVM switch?", kvm stands for Keyboard, Video, Mouse. The switch allows you to toggle between computers, without disturbing the established connection of attached computers. Audio cables are also provided (microphone and speaker), Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

David Hartsock
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August 7, 2011
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July 26, 2015 - 9:37 am
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In the grand scheme of everything a hypervisor is a basic supervisory OS for virtual machines, but even in a hypervisor situation all OS'es running share the resources of the host (motherboard, RAM, CPU, etc) - after all there is still only 1 motherboard. The difference is that while the resources are "shared" from the same "pool" they are assignable and segregated.

An example would be a business that has a SQL database server, a web server, an email server, several application servers, and a storage server. That would mean they would have to buy at least 5 servers to replace their existing infrastructure. 5 chassis. 5 sets of drives. 5 sets of RAM, etc.

In a hypervisor situation they could buy one server with multiple processors, a large pool of RAM, and a large storage pool (say 4 - 12 core CPUs, 128GB RAM, 10 network adapters, and 24 terabytes of storage) then segment that for each applicable use into "containers". Each container is assigned specific resources and those resources are available only where they are assigned.

They could create containers similar to this:
10 cores, 32GB RAM, and 2TB storage in a RAID6 array to the SQL database server.
4 cores, 12GB RAM and 2TB storage in a RAID1 array to the web server.
4 cores, 12GB RAM and 6TB storage in a RAID6 array to the email server.
2 cores, 16GB RAM and 20TB storage in RAID6 for the storage server.

Each is a separate and independent OS with its' own CPU, RAM, storage, and network connection.

Taking this a step further it is even possible to run Windows clients (7,8,10, etc) on the same server and allow the actual people access to the clients via thin clients.

Sorry for the diatribe, Marc, was just trying to better explain what a hypervisor is and what the purpose of one is. Think of it as a super VM and a virtual machine is the best solution for you if you want to run multiple OS'es on one physical PC.

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