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The Best of Both Worlds with On-Demand Virtualization Thawan Kooburat and Michael M. Swift. On-Demand Virtualization. Motivation. Cost of Virtualization. Uses of On-Demand Virtualization.
Thawan Kooburat and Michael M. Swift
Cost of Virtualization
Uses of On-Demand Virtualization
There are many use cases which can be enabled by on-demand virtualizations such as:
There are many places where virtualization is not being used, such as datacenters running performance-sensitive applications or desktop environment due to:
Our prototype is implemented on Linux 2.6.35 using TuxOnIce  for hibernation. We use on KVM as our Virtual Machine Monitor. The only cost is (i) reserving disk space for the VMM and (ii) using logical devices.
Our current prototype can perform one-way conversion from native to virtual execution while retaining SSH/SCP connections. The process takes about 90 seconds and majority of the time is spent in hibernate /resume process and machine reboot.
Problem: Capturing OS and Process State
We rely on the hibernation mechanism to transfer OS state from a native machine to a virtual machine: we suspend the native OS to disk, and resume it inside a virtual machine. However, hibernation assume that the OS will resume on machine with same hardware profile.
Problem: Discovering Devices inside the VM
We rely on hotplugging support found in many devices to make transition from physical to virtual hardware. The system virtually unplugs physical devices and plugs in new virtual devices. We modify the kernel to rescan the PCI bus to discover virtual devices and attach them to the OS during the resume process. However, this mechanism only works on devices supporting hotplugging.
For platform devices such as timers and interrupt routers that do not have hotplug support, the hibernation boot code passes on configuration information to the resuming kernel, so that it can reconfigure these devices.
Prepare device and load drivers
* VMM may not be able to emulate hardware features found in a physical machine such as IOMMU. Thus, we need to disable these features in advance because the kernel and applications may rely on them.
Boot up VMM Kernel
Start VM from Guest partition
Boot up machine
Load hibernate image
References and Related Work
Microvisor  presents the first step toward on-demand virtualization. However, they do not virtualize the entire system so their benefit is limited to online maintenance. VMWare Converter  can clone a physical machine into a VM. However, it does not preserve running state of the physical machine.
OS live migration  adds whole-system migration to an OS without requiring virtualization. However, each class of device must provide an import/export interface to transfer device state. Our logical device approach do not require device driver modification.
 R. Bhargava, B. Serebrin, F. Spadini, et al. Accelerating two-dimensional page walks for virtualized systems, ASPLOS, 2008.
 J. Chow, T. Garfinkel, and P.M. Chen. Decoupling dy-namic program analysis from execution in virtual environments, USENIX, 2008.
 Linux software suspend http://www.tuxonice.net
 D.E. Lowell, Y. Saito, and E.J. Samberg. Devirtualizable virtual machines enabling general, single-node, online maintenance, ASPLOS, 2004.
 VMware vCenter Converter http://www.vmware.com/products/converter
 M. Kozuch, M. Kaminsky, and M.P. Ryan. Migration without Virtualization, HotOS, 2009.
Scan and reconfigure devices
Resume user processes
Problem: Preserving Device Bindings
Solution: Logical Devices
Logical devices act as an interposition layer between the kernel and device drivers. They are normally used to provide aggregation or high availability. Thus, they allow existing kernel structures to transfer their state from one device to another. We use the network bonding driver to preserve network connections and the device mapper to do the same for block devices. This allows us to preserve device binding even across different model/type of devices.