Performance Evaluation of Intel EPT Hardware Assist

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Executive Summary

For the majority of common workloads, performance in a virtualized environment is close to that in a native environment. Virtualization does create some overheads, however. These come from the virtualization of the CPU, the MMU (Memory Management Unit), and the I/O devices. In some of their recent x86 processors AMD and Intel have begun to provide hardware extensions to help bridge this performance gap. In 2006, both vendors introduced their first-generation hardware support for x86 virtualization with AMD-Virtualization (AMD-V) and Intel VT-x technologies. Recently Intel introduced its second generation of hardware support that incorporates MMU virtualization, called Extended Page Tables (EPT).

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