Virtualization

Opportunities for Leveraging OS Virtualization in High-End Supercomputing

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Executive Summary

This paper examines potential motivations for incorporating virtualization support in the system software stacks of high end capability supercomputers. This paper advocates that this will increase the exibility of these platforms significantly and enable new capabilities that are not possible with current fixed software stacks. The results indicate that compute, virtual memory, and I/O virtualization overheads are low and can be further mitigated by utilizing well-known techniques such as large paging and VMM bypass. Furthermore, since the addition of virtualization support does not affect the performance of applications using the traditional native environment, there is essentially no disadvantage to its addition.

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