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InfoQ Homepage News KVM Gains Additional Support in Linux 2.6.26 Kernel and Native Network IO Performance

KVM Gains Additional Support in Linux 2.6.26 Kernel and Native Network IO Performance

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The new 2.6.26 version of the Linux kernel has been released after three months of development. Among the high level features its adds are:
  • read-only bind mounts
  • ports of KVM to IA64, S390 and PPC
  • other KVM improvements including basic paravirtualization support
  • preliminary support of the future 802.11s wireless mesh standard

Specific to virtualization, the KVM additions add support for nested paging and x86 hardware task switching. ZDNet also points out:

...Among the most significant improvements are changes to the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization software... the latest kernel update adds limited support for paravirtualization, a technique that only partially virtualizes the hardware in order to improve performance ... KVM has also, for the first time, been ported to non-x86 hardware platforms Intel IA64 and IBM PPC and S/390, developers said ...

The first version of KVM was included in Linux 2.6.20 in February of 2007. Earlier this year RedHat announced a new hypervisor based on KVM. In related news the KVM development team has announced achieving native network IO performance using pci passthrough with VT-d technology. They note that in the past certain workloads have not been virtualized due to network contention issues. Technologies such as Intel's VT-d should increase the variety areas that virtualization can be applied.

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