While containers and virtual machines can be considered the same, they are basically quite different technologies. In addition, the most significant difference is that containers can enable operating system virtualization so that multiple workloads can run on a single instance. In contrast, virtual machines use hardware to virtualize and run many instances of the operating system.

Today we give a brief overview of some of the differences between containers and virtual machines. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between the two technologies.

Virtual machines

Virtual machines were based on the need to increase the power and capacity of bare metal applications. In addition to physical services, they are done with running software. In the meantime, this happens to replicate a particular hardware system called a hypervisor. A hypervisor, also known as a virtual display, is hardware that creates and uses virtual machines. It is located between the hardware and the virtual machine. In other words, its main purpose is to virtualize the server.

Virtual machines have the ability to run different operating systems on the same physical server, and can be quite large in size – up to several gigabytes. In addition, each virtual machine has a separate image of the operating system, which increases the need for memory and storage. This can be an additional challenge in everything from testing and development to production and even disaster recovery. Certainly, it can limit the portability of applications and the cloud solution.

The hypervisor is quite a workforce. For example, it is responsible for interacting with all network adapters on all devices, as well as the storage space on your virtual machine. In addition, the hypervisor is quite busy and has a considerable amount that overshadows the operating system above it.


Repositories are a useful way to run separate systems on a single server or host operating system. For example, following the growth in popularity of operating system virtualization, software is now predictably able to run from one server environment to another. The containers themselves sit on top of the physical server and its host operating system. Each repository shares the host operating system kernel, binaries, and libraries. These shared components are available in read-only format.

One of the main highlights of the containers is that they are very light and only megabytes in size. Meaning they have the ability to start in seconds with virtual machines instead of minutes. Thanks to the common operating system, containers can reduce management overhead while repairing faults and other maintenance work. In summary, the big difference between containers and virtual machines is that the containers are much lighter and more portable.

Terminal boxes and virtual machines

In summary, there are many differences in terms of containers compared to virtual machines. Virtual machines allow the hardware to run multiple instances of the operating system. In contrast, containers have the advantage of portability and speed, which help streamline software and their development.

In short, are you curious to learn more about how virtual machines and dishes can work within your cloud strategy? Contact us today talk to one of the VEXXHOST experts.


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