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CPU knowledge - Virtualization

CPU virtualization is a technology that allows multiple virtual machines (VMs) to run on a single physical server, each with its own operating system and application environment. This allows multiple users to share the resources of a single server, improving utilization and reducing costs.

CPU virtualization works by allowing the hypervisor (a software layer that sits between the physical hardware and the virtual machines) to virtualize the CPU and present each VM with a virtual CPU. The virtual CPU is a software-based representation of a physical CPU, and it allows each VM to think that it has exclusive access to a physical CPU.

There are two main approaches to CPU virtualization:

  1. Full virtualization: This approach uses binary translation, where the hypervisor intercepts and modifies the instructions of the guest operating system before they are executed on the physical CPU. This allows the guest operating system to run unmodified on the virtual machine, regardless of the underlying hardware.

  2. Paravirtualization: This approach requires the guest operating system to be modified to run in a virtualized environment. The hypervisor communicates directly with the guest operating system, and the guest operating system is aware that it is running in a virtualized environment. This approach provides improved performance compared to full virtualization, but requires modification to the guest operating system.

CPU virtualization is a key component of modern data center infrastructure, as it enables organizations to consolidate their servers and improve utilization, reduce costs, and improve disaster recovery and business continuity. However, virtualization also introduces new challenges, such as performance overhead, security, and management, that must be carefully considered and addressed.

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