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Multiple Device Emulators for HVM Guests, Paul Durrant, Citrix

by on Nov 14, 2013

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Currently Xen only allows a single device emulator to be attached to each HVM guest in a system and, to date,this has been QEMU generally running as a process in the same domain as the toolstack, or ...

Currently Xen only allows a single device emulator to be attached to each HVM guest in a system and, to date,this has been QEMU generally running as a process in the same domain as the toolstack, or in a stub domain.
To enable the deployment of virtual GPUs to HVM guests in XenServer, patches were created to allow multiple device emulators to be attached to each HVM guest. QEMU continues to be used to emulate the majority of the devices, but a second process is spawned to handle the virtual GPU. This opens up the possibility of the GPU vendors supplying 'appliance' driver domains in future.
I'd like to give an overview of the changes that we've made to Xen and QEMU to enable the use of multiple emulators, the potential benefits to driver domains, plus the knock on effect of emulator disaggregation on the 'unplug' protocol and what we could do about this.

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