Standard VM technology currently operates under the banner of the hypervisor, an increasingly complex way of maintaining order in servers that may have hundreds of individual machines running on them. Servers are becoming decentralized, crammed into boxes with other machines they know nothing about and may operate nothing like. This lack of “sameness” has prompted the development of the hypervisor, and spurred its ever-increasing role in the world of cloud computing. Hypervisors are there to take care of the details, to ensure that everything in a VM runs smoothly, but the fact is they’re starting to have trouble keeping up. Storage, data retrieval and I/O issues abound, and we’re starting to run up against chips that burn too hot and can’t handle what we want to cram onto them – hypervisor, it may be your time to go.
New technology is in the works, technology that may make the hypervisor obsolete. While nothing is set in stone, a number of new options, including single chip computing (SCC) are on the rise. SCCs have the potential to take everything we know and love about VMs and reduce it down to one single chip, a chip that is then placed with others on a die. Initial tests show that speed and efficiency are higher with SCC options, but that hypervisors cannot handle them as, collectively, they are not cache coherent, and do not look like a single, virtual chip to the hypervisor.
For the moment, the hypervisor is a mainstay of the virtual industry, but new technology may soon make it obsolete. While it has served well and done its duty at the forefront of the cloud revolution, someone may soon have to tell it that its time is up.