PVH - Best Characteristics of All Virtualization Modes

We all know that Oracle VM Server for x86 incorporates an open source Xen hypervisor component, which has been customized and optimized to integrate into the larger, Oracle-developed virtualization server. At the same time, Oracle is behind the Xen project and has made a variety of contributions. PVH is just one of the examples.

In the latest release of Xen 4.4, Oracle has contributed a functional preview of a new virtualization mode called PVH currently available to virtualized guests. PVH is an extension to the classic Xen Project Paravirtualization (PV) that uses the hardware virtualization extensions available on modern x86 processors. PVH uses PV drivers for boot and I/O, and Intel hardware virtualization extensions for page table operations, system calls and other privileged operations. This not only improves performance and security, but also simplifies the architecture and Xen Project Hypervisor-Linux interface significantly.

The feature was made possible thanks to Mukesh Rathor. He talked about his work at the Linux Collaboration Summit last week. For more technical details, you can read Konrad Wilk's blog entry at Xen.org: http://blog.xen.org/index.php/2014/01/31/linux-3-14-and-pvh/. You can learn more about Oracle's technical contributions to Linux and open source communities.

Note that this is about the upstream Xen development, so the feature is not immediately available in the current Oracle VM release. For What's New in the Oracle VM releases, visit here.

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