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Hardware virtualization gives administrators the flexibility to rapidly create, destroy and relocate virtual machines across physical hosts. Unfortunately, the storage systems upon which these systems depend are not nearly as agile. To facilitate the rapid, safe development of block devices that can meet the needs of virtual machines, the authors present the Block Mason virtual block device framework. Although the block device interface is simple and intuitive, block devices themselves must generally be implemented in the operating system kernel, an environment which is neither simple nor portable.
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