Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

November 29, 2005

The Xen Hypervisor and Its IO Subsystem

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 8:49 PM

Here’s a proposed abstract for the talk I’ll be giving at the 2005 Systems and Storage Seminar. Comments appreciated!

The Xen hypervisor provides fast, secure, open-source virtualization that allows multiple operating system instances to run on a single physical machine. Xen supports modified guest operating systems using a technique known as para-virtualization, and unmodified guests using hardware virtualization support on the latest Intel VT enabled processors. Xen offers near native performance for guest operating systems, and supports live migration of guests between servers with typical application impact of less than 100ms.

This talk will have three parts: in the first part, I will discuss the origins, architecture and current status of the Xen hypervisor. In the second part, I will focus on Xen’s IO subsystem: the split driver architecture, driver domains and hardware access from multiple virtual machines. The third part will be dedicated to IOMMUs: both software mechanisms (Xen’s grant tables and Linux’s swiotlb) and hardware IOMMUs.

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