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A computer system typically consists of multiple layers of abstraction, starting with hardware at the lowest layer, and operating systems and high-level applications at higher layers. A virtual machine monitor (VMM) is a layer in a computer system that manages the resources in the layer below while presenting an abstraction of that layer to a virtual machine (VM) at the layer above. By inserting a VMM between two layers, the authors can effectively decouple the two layers. By decoupling an operating system from the hardware with a VMM, the operating system becomes the VM unit of migration.
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