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Evaluating the Performance and Intrusiveness of Virtual Machines for Desktop Grid Computing

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Executive Summary

The authors experimentally evaluate the performance overhead of the virtual environments VMware Player, QEMU, VirtualPC and VirtualBox on a dual-core machine. Firstly, the authors assess the performance of a Linux guest OS running on a virtual machine by separately benchmarking the CPU, file I/O and the network bandwidth. These values are compared to the performance achieved when applications are run on a Linux OS directly over the physical machine. Secondly, they measure the impact that a virtual machine running a volunteer at home project worker causes on a host OS. Results show that performance attainable on virtual machines depends simultaneously on the virtual machine software and on the application type, with CPU-bound applications much less impacted than IO-bound ones.

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