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Hybrid-Virtualization Ideal Virtualization for Linux

Jun Nakajima (jun.nakajima@intel.com)

We propose hybrid-virtualization that combines para-virtualization and hardware-based virtualization. It can achieve equivalent or better performance than software-only para-virtualization, taking the full advantage of each technology. We implemented a hybrid-virtualization Linux, which required much fewer modifications to Linux, and yet achieved equivalent or better performance than software-only XenLinux. The hybrid-virtualization employs para-virtualization for I/O, interrupt controllers, and timer to simplify the system and optimize performance. For CPU virtualization it allows one to use the same code as in the original kernel. The other benefits are: 1. it can run on broader ranges of VMMs, including Xen and KVM as it needs no para-virtualization hooks for CPU, 2. future extensions to hardware-based virtualization will be available.

You should have a basic understanding of the Linux kernel and how the virtualization is implemented. This presentation should provide insights over the next generation of virtualization where hardware-based virtualization is always present.