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Encyclopedia > X86 virtualization

x86 virtualization is the method by which x86-based "guest" operating systems are run under another "host" x86 operating system, with little or no modification of the guest OS. The x86 processor architecture did not originally meet the Popek and Goldberg virtualization requirements. As a result, it was very difficult to implement a general virtual machine on an x86 processor. In 2005 and 2006, extensions to their respective x86 architectures by Intel and AMD resolved this and other virtualization difficulties. x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... The Popek and Goldberg virtualization requirements are a set of sufficient conditions for a computer architecture to efficiently support system virtualization. ... In computer science, a virtual machine is software that creates a virtualized environment between the computer platform and its operating system, so that the end user can operate software on an abstract machine. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ...

Contents

Software techniques

On February 8, 1999, VMware introduced the first x86 virtualization product, "VMware Virtual Platform", based on earlier research by its founders at Stanford University. VMware filed for a patent on their techniques in October 1998, which was granted as U.S. Patent 6,397,242  on May 28, 2002. VMware and similar virtualization software for the x86 must employ very sophisticated techniques to trap and virtualize the execution of certain instructions. These techniques incur some performance overhead as compared to a VM running on a natively virtualizable architecture such as the IBM System/370 or Motorola MC68020. is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... VMware Inc. ... “Stanford” redirects here. ... May 28 is the 148th day of the year (149th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...


Kevin Lawton started the Plex86 project (originally called "freemware") to create Free software for x86 virtualization. The focus of this project has since changed to support only Linux as a guest operating system, but prior to that Mr. Lawton published the paper Running multiple operating systems concurrently on an IA32 PC using virtualization techniques, which gives an analysis of what aspects of the x86 architecture are hard to virtualize and some techniques to overcome these difficulties. Plex86 is a project to create a virtual machine for the x86 architecture that runs Linux operating system. ... This article is about free software as used in the sociopolitical free software movement; for non-free software distributed without charge, see freeware. ...


Microsoft offers two Windows-based x86 virtualization products, Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server, based on technology they acquired from Connectix. Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Virtual PC is an emulation suite for Apple Mac OS X, and a virtualization suite for Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... Microsoft Virtual Server is a virtualization solution that facilitates the creation of virtual machines on the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems. ... Connectix Corporation was a software and hardware company, noted for having released innovative products that were either made obsolete as Apple incorporated the ideas into system software, or were sold to other companies once they become popular. ...


Open source alternatives include QEMU and VirtualBox. Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... It has been suggested that Qemu-Launcher be merged into this article or section. ... VirtualBox by InnoTek is an x86 virtualizer for Windows and Linux 32-bit hosts supporting Windows, Linux 2. ...


The research systems Denali, L4, and Xen explored ways to provide high performance virtualization of x86 by implementing a virtual machine that differs from the raw hardware. Operating systems are ported to run on the resulting virtual machine, which does not implement the hard-to-virtualize parts of the actual x86 instruction set. This technique is known as paravirtualization. In computing, Denali is an operating system, according to [1], an IA-32 virtual machine monitor, that allows for untrusted services to be run in isolated (protected) domains. ... L4 is, collectively, a family of related computer programs. ... Xen is an open source virtual machine monitor, or hypervisor, developed by the University of Cambridge. ... In computer science, porting is the adaptation of a piece of software so that it will function in a different computing environment to that for which it was originally written. ... In computing, paravirtualization is a virtualization technique that presents a software interface to virtual machines that is similar but not identical to that of the underlying hardware. ...


Hardware support

Intel and AMD have independently developed virtualization extensions to the x86 architecture. They are not directly compatible with each other, but serve largely the same functions. Either will allow a virtual machine hypervisor to run an unmodified guest operating system without incurring significant emulation performance penalties. In computing, a hypervisor (also: virtual machine monitor) is a virtualization platform that allows multiple operating systems to run on a host computer at the same time. ... This article is about emulation in computer science. ...


Intel VT (IVT)

Intel's virtualization extension for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 architecture is named IVT (short for Intel Virtualization Technology), and is sometimes referred to by the development code name "Vanderpool". The 32-bit or IA-32 IVT extensions are referred to as VT-x [1]. Intel has also published specifications for IVT for the IA-64 (Itanium) processors which are referred to as VT-i [1]; formerly the IA-64 virtualization was code-named "Silvervale". It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with X86 assembly language. ... In computing, IA-64 (short for Intel Architecture-64) is a 64-bit processor architecture developed cooperatively by Intel Corporation and Hewlett-Packard (HP), and implemented in the Itanium and Itanium 2 processors. ... Itanium 2 logo The Itanium 2 is an IA-64 64-bit microprocessor developed jointly by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Intel, and introduced on July 8, 2002. ...


Intel VT was officially launched at the Intel Developer Forum Spring 2005. It is available on certain Pentium 4 6x1 and 6x2 models[2], Pentium D 9x0[1], Xeon 3xxx/5xxx/7xxx [2], Core Duo (excluding T2300E) and Core 2 Duo processors (excluding the T5200, T5250, T5300, T5450, T5470, T5500, E4x00, E2xx0). On some implementations, IVT support may be switched off in the Firmware. This can be determined by checking if the VMX flag is enabled by the Feature Control MSR. The Pentium 4[1] brand refers to Intels mainstream desktop and mobile single-core CPUs (introduced on November 20, 2000[2]) with the seventh-generation NetBurst architecture, which was the companys first all-new design since the Intel P6 of the Pentium Pro branded CPUs of 1995. ... Pentium D logo as of 2006. ... This article is about the Intel microprocessor. ... It has been suggested that Intel Pentium Dual Core be merged into this article or section. ... The Core 2 brand refers to a range of Intels consumer dual-core and quad-core (2x2) 64-bit x86 CPUs based on the Intel Core microarchitecture, which derived from the 32-bit dual-core Yonah laptop processor. ... A microcontroller, like this PIC18F8720 is controlled by firmware stored inside on FLASH memory In computing, firmware is a computer program that is embedded in a hardware device, for example a microcontroller. ...


Documentation on the Intel website has stated that VT requires not only support from the processor, but also support from the chipset, BIOS, and perhaps software [3][4]. Scheme of a chipset A chipset is a group of integrated circuits, or chips, that are designed to work together, and are usually marketed as a single product. ... For other uses, see Bios. ...


Intel plans to add a technology named Virtualization for Directed I/O (VT-d) to VT. This provides a way of configuring interrupt delivery to individual virtual machines and an IOMMU for preventing a virtual machine from using DMA to break isolation. Comparison of the I/O memory management unit (IOMMU) to the memory management unit (MMU). ... Direct memory access (DMA) is a feature of modern computers that allows certain hardware subsystems within the computer to access system memory for reading and/or writing independently of the central processing unit. ...


AMD virtualization (AMD-V)

AMD's virtualization extensions to the 64-bit x86 architecture is named AMD Virtualization, abbreviated AMD-V. It is still referred to as "Pacifica", the AMD internal project code name.


AMD-V is present in all K8 AMD (Athlon 64) processors from stepping "F" and all newer processors support AMD-V technology. This applies for all current Socket AM2 and Socket F processors. The Athlon 64 is an eighth-generation, AMD64 architecture microprocessor produced by AMD, released on September 23, 2003. ... The Socket AM2, renamed from Socket M2 (to prevent using the same name as Cyrix MII processors), is a CPU socket designed by AMD for desktop processors, including the performance, mainstream and value segments. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


AMD has published a specification for a technology named IO Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) to AMD-V. This provides a way of configuring interrupt delivery to individual virtual machines and an IO memory translation unit for preventing a virtual machine from using DMA to break isolation. The IOMMU also plays an important role in advanced operating systems (absent virtualization) and the AMD Torrenza architecture. Comparison of the I/O memory management unit (IOMMU) to the memory management unit (MMU). ... Torrenza is a technology developed by AMD that paves the way for specialised coprocessors to run in spare CPU sockets on multiway CPU systems. ...


Software utilizing VT

The following software is known to conditionally make use of virtualization technology features:

  • Blue Pill (malware) uses AMD Pacifica
  • Enomalism - Management console for the Xen hypervisor
  • Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)
  • Microsoft Virtual PC — As of Virtual PC 2007 supports both Intel VT-x and AMD AMD-V. VPC 2007 was released on 19 February 2007
  • Microsoft Virtual Server — Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 supports hardware assisted virtualization[5][6]
  • Parallels Workstation and Parallels Desktop for Mac — lightweight hypervisor with Intel VT-x and AMD AMD-V support.
  • Padded Cell - virtual machine technology from Green Hills Software hosted on INTEGRITY real-time operating system. System virtualization, supports Intel VT-x, runs arbitrary guests (e.g. Linux, Windows, Solaris).
  • Real-Time Systems RTS Real-Time Hypervisor for x86
  • TRANGO real-time embedded hypervisor
  • VirtualBox supports VT, but does not enable it by default. As with VMware, the developers state that it slows down virtualization, at least for those guest operating systems for which their software virtualization has been optimized.[7]
  • Virtual Iron - Virtual Iron 3.5 is the first virtualization software that fully supports hardware-assisted virtualization (Intel-VT and AMD-V) to execute unmodified 32 and 64-bit guest operating systems (Windows, Red Hat and SUSE) with near native performance. Intel and AMD both have contributed support for their extensions to the Virtual Iron open source virtualization, allowing it to execute unmodified guest operating systems. Virtual Iron refers to this architecture as "native virtualization".
  • VirtualLogix VLX uses hardware assisted virtualization (VT) to run unmodified guest OSs including Linux and Real-Time operating systems.
  • VMware — on Intel processors, VMware Workstation 5.5 requires Intel VT to execute 64-bit guests.[8] For 32-bit guests, use of VT is possible but not enabled by default because for normal workloads it's slower.[9][10]
    • VMware Fusion - Virtualisation product for Mac OS X for use on Macintosh systems equipped with Intel Core and Core 2 Duo processors.
  • Xen — Xen 3.0.2, open source (GPL) virtualization, uses Intel VT to execute unmodified guest operating systems. Both Intel and AMD have contributed support for their virtualization extensions to the Xen virtual machine monitor, allowing it to execute unmodified guest operating systems.

Blue Pill is the codename for a rootkit based on virtualization technology that targets Microsoft Vista. ... Enomalism is a management console for the Xen Hypervisor. ... KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware. ... Virtual PC is an emulation suite for Apple Mac OS X, and a virtualization suite for Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... [[Media:Italic text]]{| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... Microsoft Virtual Server is a virtualization solution that facilitates the creation of virtual machines on the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Parallels Desktop for Mac is a software product by Parallels, Inc. ... VirtualBox by InnoTek is an x86 virtualizer for Windows and Linux 32-bit hosts supporting Windows, Linux 2. ... Virtual Iron Software, located in Lowell, Massachusetts, provides software for virtualization and management of a virtual infrastructure. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... VMware Inc. ... VMware Fusion is a virtual machine software product by VMware, Inc. ... Xen is a free virtual machine monitor for IA-32, x86-64, IA-64 and PowerPC architectures. ... The GNU logo For other uses of GPL, see GPL (disambiguation). ... Xen is a free virtual machine monitor for IA-32, x86-64, IA-64 and PowerPC architectures. ...

Performance

Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) has created a working group to address the development of a set of industry standard methods to compare performance of virtualization technologies. Current members of the working group include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM, Sun Microsystems, SWsoft and VMware. SPEC is currently seeking information from the IT community to better understand the types of information that would provide the best industry benchmarks. The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) is a non-profit organization that aims to produce fair, impartial and meaningful benchmarks for computers. ... Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ... This article is about the corporation Dell, Inc. ... Fujitsu Siemens Computers is a European IT vendor, selling consumer and business computing products in the markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ... Intel redirects here. ... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... Sun Microsystems, Inc. ... SWsoft is a leading server automation and virtualisation software development company with over 10,000 worldwide. ... VMware Inc. ... In computing, a benchmark is the act of running a computer program, a set of programs, or other operations, in order to assess the relative performance of an object, normally by running a number of standard tests and trials against it. ...


Windows Vista

Windows Vista Home Basic and Home Premium's End User License Agreements state that they may not be installed on a virtual machine, although there are no technological barriers preventing a user from doing so. This interpretation of the EULA has been reportedly confirmed by Microsoft. Windows Vista is available in six editions. ... A software license is a type of proprietary or gratiuitious license as well as a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software — sometimes called an End User License Agreement (EULA) — that specifies the perimeters of the permission granted by the owner to the...


See also

In computing, virtualization is a broad term that refers to the abstraction of computer resources. ... // Timelines 1960 IBM Sun Hewlett-Packard 1999 February 8, 1999, VMware introduced VMware Virtual Platform. ... In computer science, a virtual machine is software that creates a virtualized environment between the computer platform and its operating system, so that the end user can operate software on an abstract machine. ... The table below compares basic information about virtual machine packages. ... This comparison of Application Virtual Machines lists some of the common software virtual machines that implement the concept of Application Virtualization, typically for the purpose allowing application binaries to be portably run on many different computer architectures and operating systems. ... This article is about emulation in computer science. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... In computing, paravirtualization is a virtualization technique that presents a software interface to virtual machines that is similar but not identical to that of the underlying hardware. ... Operating System Virtualization is a server virtualization technology which virtualizes servers on an operating system (kernel) layer. ...

References

  1. ^ a b Intel Virtualization Technology. Intel.
  2. ^ Processor Spec Finder. Intel Corp.. Retrieved on 2007-03-22.
  3. ^ Intel Processors Supporting VT. Xen Source.
  4. ^ Intel Pentium 4 Processor 6xx Sequence and Intel Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition Datasheet. Intel.
  5. ^ Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 1 download link and availability details. technet.com (2006-04-28).
  6. ^ Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 - beta 2 feature listing. Microsoft.
  7. ^ VirtualBox architecture. InnoTek.
  8. ^ Hardware Requirements for 64-Bit Guest Operating Systems. VMWare.
  9. ^ Adams, Keith; Agesen, Ole (2006). A Comparison of Software and Hardware Techniques for x86 Virtualization. VMWare.
  10. ^ How to check if Vanderpool usage is enabled?. VMware (March 2006). Article suggests adding monitor_control.vt32 = "TRUE" to the *.vmx file will enable use of hardware VT.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... VMware Inc. ... VMware Inc. ... VMware Inc. ...

External links

General links
Hardware virtualization VT from Intel
Hardware virtualization Pacifica from AMD
(non-x86) Hardware virtualization from IBM
(non-x86) Hardware virtualization for SPARC
Blogs discussing virtualization technologies

  Results from FactBites:
 
x86 architecture: Information from Answers.com (2812 words)
The architecture is called x86 because the earliest processors in this family were identified by model numbers ending in the sequence "86": the 8086, the 80186, the 80286, the 386, and the 486.
The x86 architecture first appeared inside the Intel 8086 CPU in 1978; the 8086 was a development of the Intel 8080 processor (which itself followed the 4004 and 8008), and programs in 8080 assembler language could be mechanically translated to equivalent programs in 8086 assembler language.
An x86 system-on-a-chip is a combination of an x86 CPU core with a northbridge (memory controller) and a southbridge (input/output (I/O) controller) in a single integrated circuit (IC).
Xen and the Art of Virtualization (1114 words)
Software virtualization is generally implemented via a layer of virtualization software, sometimes referred to as a VM monitor (VMM), that presents the illusion of many VMs.
Because the virtualization software layer must have privileged control of platform resources, the usual solution prior to, say VT, is to run the layer in ring 0, and the guest operating system in less privileged rings such as ring 1 or ring 3.
Its virtualization licensing policy has been in effect since August 2004 when SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 was introduced, and using one or more virtual images on a physical processor or server does not alter the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 licensing policy.
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