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Virtualization is a computer technology with a long history that has bloomed in recent years. Originally developed to support multitasking on mainframes, virtualization is the foundation for cloud computing today and contributes to the flexibility, reliability, and ease of use of computing today. Before the technology could become as common as it is now, it had to be applied to the workhorse of distributed computing, the x86 architecture. When that was accomplished, virtual systems spread rapidly in datacenters around the world and led to the next phase: cloud computing.
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Gerald Popek and Robert Goldberg. “Formal Requirements for Virtualization of Third Generation Architectures.” Communications of the ACM, July 1974, Volume 17, Number 7. Accessed March 2015. www.cs.nyu.edu/courses/fall14/CSCI-GA.3033-010/popek-goldberg.pdf .
Most Linux distributions come with KVM installed. Other virtualization software available for Linux includes VirtualBox Open Source Edition from Oracle and VM Workstation from VMware. VirtualBox and VM Workstation also run on Windows. Microsoft Hyper-V runs on Windows.
Kernel request performance has improved since Intel added the SYSENTER instruction and AMD added the SYSCALL instruction to speed up system calls. John Gulbransen has written a good description of SYSENTER and SYSCALL. John Gulbransen, “System call optimization with the SYSENTER instruction.” www.summitsoftconsulting.com/syscallopts.htm . Accessed March 12, 2015.
Officially called “Oracle VM Server for SPARC.”
SPARC is an acronym for Scalable Processor ARChitecture introduced by Sun in 1987. The architecture uses a reduced instruction set. Subsequently Sun established SPARC International Inc., a nonprofit member-owned organization to promote and release SPARC as a royalty-free, open architecture. SPARC has been adopted for a number on non-Sun computers. See http://sparc.org/ . Accessed September 2015.
The SPARC architecture supports the appearance of many processors dynamically assigned to processes. Oracle acquired Sun in 2010. Oracle has continued to develop SPARC.
The Linux container technology discussed here is not Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), which is a technology for supporting true VMs. Using KVM, a Linux installation acts as a hypervisor for virtual Linux machines.
For more information on Docker, see https://www.docker.com/ . Accessed September 2015.
For more information, see https://www.opencontainers.org/pressrelease/ . Accessed September 2015.
For more information on Windows containers, see https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/virtualization/windowscontainers/about/about_overview?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396. Accessed September 2015.
Sadly, some hacking exploits require only user-level access, but the most potentially devastating involve supervisor mode.
- Not in Kansas
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