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Memory Resource Management in VMware ESX Server

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Memory Resource Management in VMware ESX Server

VMware ESX Server is a thin software layer designed to multiplex hardware resources efficiently among virtual machines running unmodified commodity operating systems. This paper introduces several novel ESX Server mechanisms and policies for managing memory. A ballooning technique reclaims the pages considered least valuable by the operating system running in a virtual machine. An idle memory tax achieves efficient memory utilization while maintaining performance isolation guarantees. Content-based page sharing and hot I/O page remapping exploit transparent page remapping to eliminate redundancy and reduce copying overheads. These techniques are combined to efficiently support virtual machine workloads that overcommit memory.

Authors

Carl Waldspurger

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