VMDedup: Memory De-duplication in Hypervisor

Shaikh, F., Yao, F., Gupta I., Campbell, R.

IEEE International Conference on Cloud Engineering (IC2E '14). IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, USA, 379-384, 2014.

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Virtualization techniques are widely used in cloud computing environments today. Such environments are installed with a large number of similar virtual instances sharing the same physical infrastructure. In this paper, we focus on the memory usage optimization across virtual machines by automatically de-duplicating the memory on per-page basis. Our approach maintains a single copy of the duplicated pages in physical memory using copy-on-write mechanism. Unlike some existing strategies, which are intended only for applications and need user configuration, VMDedup provides an automatic memory de-duplication support within the hypervisor to achieve benefits across operating system code, data as well as application binaries. We have implemented a prototype of this system within the Xen hypervisor to support both para-virtualized and fully-virtualized instances of operating systems.

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