Re: Drivers -- below the OS?
Posted Aug 13, 2007 18:38 UTC (Mon) by mday_ii
Parent article: Re: Drivers -- below the OS?
"So next time you hear about hypervisors doing anything at all, ask
yourself where the message comes from. Does it come from a group of people
who are desperately trying to make themselves appear relevant? Or does it
come from forty years of actual real-life practice?"
It is just around 40 years ago that the IBM mainframe rolled out machine virtualization. Today Intel, AMD, storage and network vendors in the x86 market are introducing the same hardware virtualization technology that has forty years of actual real-life practice. Changes in processor features will force the OS to start using virtualization techniques.
Linus is right about device drivers in theory, but in practice VMware loads hardware drivers and the kernel is working with virtual devices. That is not the best design point, because drivers are not really robust enough, but it is the basis for a product that has about $1b in revenue and growing.
One difference between virtualization and message passing microkernels is that virtualization has been the basis of multi-billion $ hardware sales for decades - the x86 platform (and Linux) are late to the market with this same technology. Despite Linus' apparent bias, Linux will become a first-class virtualization infrastructure over the next few years. At least he deserves credit for allowing that to happen, even if he doesn't believe in it.
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