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When executing inside a virtual machine environment, OS level synchronization primitives are faced with significant challenges due to the scheduling behavior of the underlying virtual machine monitor. Operations that are ensured to last only a short amount of time on real hardware, are capable of taking considerably longer when running virtualized. This change in assumptions has significant impact when an OS is executing inside a critical region that is protected by a spinlock. The interaction between OS level spinlocks and VMM scheduling is known as the Lock Holder Preemption problem and has a significant impact on overall VM performance.
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