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Direct device assignment, where a guest virtual machine directly interacts with an I/O device without host intervention, is appealing, because it allows an unmodified (non-hypervisor-aware) guest to achieve near-native performance. But device assignment for unmodified guests suffers from two serious deficiencies: it requires pinning all of the guest's pages, thereby disallowing memory overcommitment, and it exposes the guest's memory to buggy device drivers. The authors solve these problems by designing, implementing, and exposing an emulated IOMMU (vIOMMU) to the unmodified guest.
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