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VMware Technical Reports 2006

VMware Technical Reports 2006

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TR-2006-001E – A Comparison of Software and Hardware Techniques for x86 Virtualization
Author(s): Keith Adams and Ole Agesen
Abstract:  Until recently, the x86 architecture has not permitted classical trap-and-emulate virtualization. Virtual Machine Monitors for x86, such as VMware and Virtual PC, have instead used binary translation of the guest kernel code. Recently, however, both Intel and AMD introduced architectural extensions to support classical virtualization.

We compare VMware’s existing software VMM with a new VMM designed for the emerging hardware support. Surprisingly, the hardware VMM often suffers lower performance than the pure software VMM. To determine why, we study architecture-level events such as page table updates, context switches and I/O, and find their costs vastly different among native, software VMM and hardware VMM execution.

With an aim to outperform both software and hardware VMMs, we contemplate a hybrid VMM and identify plausible hardware support for this hybrid.


TR-2006-002 E – VMmark:  A Scalable Benchmark for Virtulized Systems
Author(s):  Vikram Makhija, Bruce Herndon, Paula Smith, Lisa Roderick, Eric Zamost, Jennifer Anderson

Abstract:   Until recently, the x86 architecture has not permitted classical trap-and-emulate virtualization. Virtual Machine Monitors for x86, such as VMware and Virtual PC, have instead used binary translation of the guest kernel code. Recently, however, both Intel and AMD introduced architectural extensions to support classical virtualization.

We compare VMware’s existing software VMM with a new VMM designed for the emerging hardware support. Surprisingly, the hardware VMM often suffers lower performance than the pure software VMM. To determine why, we study architecture-level events such as page table updates, context switches and I/O, and find their costs vastly different among native, software VMM and hardware VMM execution.

With an aim to outperform both software and hardware VMMs, we contemplate a hybrid VMM and identify plausible hardware support for this hybrid.

 

 

 

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