Virtualization Technology and AMD-V

Virtualization technology is a set of hardware features that improve performance of Virtualization software. This software is used to run applications or operating systems in a virtual machine, and it provides the following advantages:

  • Ability to have multiple and/or different operating systems simultaneously running on the same computer. This capability makes it easier to establish multi-OS environment required for software product development, testing and support. It also can be used to combine multiple servers on one physical server, thus saving on hardware costs.
  • Increased system security and reliability due to virtual machine environment being completely independent from the host operating system.

Both Intel and AMD integrate Virtualization support into their microprocessors. Intel Virtualization Technology, or VT, currently includes the following elements:

  • VT-x - provides basic support for virtualization software.
  • VT-d, or Virtualization technology for Directed I/O - provides support for virtualization of I/O transactions. VT-d is primarily implemented in a chipset, and not in the CPU itself.
  • VT-c, or Virtualization technology for Connectivity (VT-c). This technology is implemented in I/O devices.

Not all Intel processors support these technologies. Please see CPU specifications for specific Intel CPU to determine what technologies (if any) are supported.

AMD Virtualization technology, or AMD-V, provides functionality similar to Intel VT-x. More advanced AMD-V 2.0 includes extra features, such as I/O level Virtualization, and Extended Migration. AMD-V is supported in almost all latest AMD mobile and desktop processors. AMD V 2.0 is supported only in the latest generation of AMD server-class CPUs.

Last modified: 15 Oct 2013
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