Hosted Architecture


VMware is having two different product category providing “Server Virtualization”.

These Product Categories are defined as:

  1. Hosted Architecture
  2. Bare-Metal Architecture

Even though both the Products designed to run Multiple OS on Single Hardware but underlying Architecture is completely different and solving different purposes.

Let’s dig more in detail about Hosted Architecture and Use Cases in this Article

Hosted Architecture

Hosted Architecture also known as “Type2 Hypervisor”.  In this Architecture Hypervisor or Virtualization Layer get installed as an Application on Underlying Base OS. This Base OS could be any general purpose operating system like Windows, Linux, Mac-OS etc.. Compute Resources of hardware is being controlled or managed by General-Purpose OS rather than Hypervisor layer.

Here, from Base-Os perspective, Hypervisor is just another application like MS-Word, Notepad, MediaPlayer running in its Kernel/User Space.



  1. It doesn’t require any High-End Hardware to run VMs.
  2. Very easy to Install
  3. It doesn’t require any expertise to manage and configure VMs running on such Hypervisor.
  4. It’s much cheaper in terms of price than VMware ESX/ESXi products


  1. The biggest drawback of this architecture is Hypervisor completely relies on underlying Base-OS. If Base-OS crashes, entire infrastructure will go down even though there is no issue with Hypervisor layer.
  2. Since Hardware resources are being controlled by underlying OS so VMware can’t provide efficient or optimized way of resource allocation mechanism for its VMs like Ballooning, PageSharing, Compression technique etc..
  3. Since all the VMs IO request has to be served by Base-OS via Hypervisor layer so its added more level of complexity in terms of IO Path. As a result, overall VM performance goes down.
  4. In this Architecture, there is no centralized way of managing and configuring VMs.
  5. VMware new Feature implementation and enhancement for improvising VMs performance completely reply on base-OS vendor. If Base-OS vendor doesn’t agree to accommodate required changes in its kernel to support VMware feature. VMware will not be able to implement it.
  6. Its again a challenge for VMware to maintain different distro copy of same hypervisor code to support all the wide range of Base-OS platforms.

Example :

  • VMware Workstation
  • VMware Player
  • VMware Fusion


In Conclusion, VMware Products based on Hosted Architecture are not Enterprise Level Product. Because of its Underlying Architecture Limitation, this product can only be used for Home-Lab, Training, Seminar purposes or Basic VM Operations.

All the underlying limitations of this Hosted Architecture drove VMware to come up with Enterprise-Level product addressing all the challenges of Hosted Architecture and designed only to Serves VMs with High Performance in terms of IO, Memory, Disk, Storage, Network etc…

That’s where VMware came up with ESX/ESXi Product!!!

One of the MasterPiece launched by VMware!!!

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I am VMware Solution Architect with 10+ Years of enriching experience in Datacenter Virtualization Technologies, Storage Area Networks and Software Defined Datacenter, Networking and Storage.
I hold Numerous certification including RHCE, CCNA, VCP4.0, VCP5.1, VCP5.5, vCloud and EMC certification.
While spending countless hours exploring the product inside and out and learning everything about it, Eventually I discovered my passion for teaching and helping others learn from my knowledge and experience so turned to Trainer cum Blogger to educate every single person keen to learn Virtualization.

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