Hardware or Machine Virtualization "Nuts and Bolts"

First dual-core in 2005, then quad-core in 2007: the multi-core snowball is rolling. The desktop market is still trying to find out how to wield all this power; meanwhile, the server market is eagerly awaiting the octal-cores in 2009. The difference is that the server market has a real killer application, hungry for all that […]

First dual-core in 2005, then quad-core in 2007: the multi-core snowball is rolling. The desktop market is still trying to find out how to wield all this power; meanwhile, the server market is eagerly awaiting the octal-cores in 2009. The difference is that the server market has a real killer application, hungry for all that CPU power: virtualization.

While a lot has been written about the opportunities that virtualization brings (consolidation, hosting legacy applications, resource balancing, faster provisioning...), most publications about virtualization are rather vague about the "nuts and bolts". We talked to several hypervisor architects at VMWorld 2008. In this article, we'll delve a bit deeper as we look to understand the impact of virtualization on performance.

Performance? Isn't that a non-issue? Modern virtualization solutions surely do not lose more than a few percent in performance, right? We'll show you that the answer is quite a bit different from what some of the sponsored white papers want you to believe. We'll begin today with a look at the basics of virtualization, and we will continue to explore the subject in future articles over the coming months.

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Virtualization, Hardware, VMware, ESX Server, Virtual Machine, Machine Virtualization