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Virtual machine technologies offer simple and practical mechanisms to address many manageability problems in database systems. For example, these technologies allow for server consolidation, easier deployment, and more flexible provisioning. Therefore, database systems are increasingly being run on virtual machines. This offers many opportunities for researchers in self-managing database systems, but it is also important to understand the cost of virtualization. In this paper, the authors present an experimental study of the overhead of running a database workload on a virtual machine. They show that the average overhead is less than 10%, and they present details of the different causes of this overhead. Their study shows that the manageability benefits of virtualization come at an acceptable cost.
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