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Off late, virtualization has become a hot topic in computer architecture research. The cost reduction and management simplification brought by server consolidation are good reasons why virtualization has become so popular. But there is a lack of tools for researchers to seek new proposals of architectures that improve the performance of virtualized systems. To fill this niche the paper has developed Virtual-GEMS, a multiprocessor simulator that allows one to simulate the behavior of a virtualized system and research new architectures suitable for virtualization. For testing Virtual-GEMS, the paper describes and evaluates some configurations for the shared L2 cache of a 16-core CMP running 4 virtual machines.
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