The first stable Xen release
Posted Oct 2, 2003 21:38 UTC (Thu) by brouhaha
Parent article: The first stable Xen release
Intel has never been interested in updating the x86 architecture to support the Popek & Goldberg virtualization criteria, which is why VMware is fairly inefficient for some workloads. (I use VMware and am happy with it; frankly I'm amazed at how efficient it does manage to be.)
But I've long hoped that AMD would see this as an opportunity, and add support for virtualization to their processors. The main thing that is needed is to add a new mode bit in a control register that, when set, would make a few more instructions trap if not executed in ring 0. A few other issues would also have to be addressed, but I doubt that implementing virtualization would add more than 10K transistors to the processor. This would not result in any noticable increase in manufacturing cost.
If this were done, it would still be necessary to have a hypervisor, but it could be simpler and more efficient than Xen, yet support any guest operating system with no modification.
to post comments)