Memory Buddies: Exploiting Page Sharing for Smart Colocation in Virtualized Data Centers

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Executive Summary

Many data center virtualization solutions, such as VMware ESX, employ content-based page sharing to consolidate the resources of multiple servers. Page sharing identifies virtual machine memory pages with identical content and consolidates them into a single shared page. This technique, implemented at the host level, applies only between VMs placed on a given physical host. In a multiserver data center, opportunities for sharing may be lost because the VMs holding identical pages are resident on different hosts. In order to obtain the full benefit of content-based page sharing it is necessary to place virtual machines such that VMs with similar memory content are located on the same hosts.

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