Standardization Please!

AMD and Intel are doing it again: incompatible x86 extensions. The specialized hardware virtualization extensions are not standardized. This means that software developers have to develop and support separate modules to support Intel's VT-x and AMD SVM. Xen 3.0.2 supports both technologies, accounting for about 9500 of the lines or 8% of the code base of Xen 3.0.2. AMD's and Intel's lack of standardization is causing the Xen VMM to expand by about 4%, which is still manageable. Let us hope that this doesn't get out of hand, because the difference between AMD's and Intel's extensions is so small that you really need to ask yourself what the point of these two different extensions is.

So which CPU's have support? The table below lists the most important server CPUs.

CPUs with Virtualization Support
Processor Type of Virtualization Degree of support
Xeon 50xx, Xeon 70xxx and Xeon 71xx Hardware Virtualization support
(HVT only)
Rather slow
Opteron Socket-F, Xeon 53xx Hardware Virtualization support
(HVT only)
Medium
Xeon 54xx Hardware Virtualization support
(HVT only)
Relatively fast
Nehalem, Quad-core Opteron HVT and Nested paging
(EPT/NPT)
Unknown

It important to note that the AMD Opteron 8xx and 2xx with support for DDR do not support HVT; however, they were quite a bit faster than comparable Xeons with early HVT support.

Intel's EPT and AMD's NPT The Benchmarks
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  • toony - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    could you give me a analysis about EPT tech in detail or introduce me some reference about it? thx a lot... Reply

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