System Virtual Machines in the Context of Reconfigurable Computing

Bernd Klauer, Dominik Meyer, Jan Haase, Marcel Eckert


System virtualization techniques are broadly used to distribute computing power, to boot different operating systems virtually on top of a host OS, to enable security features like encapsulation or to provide redundancy and migration concepts. Virtual machines (VMs) targeting different Instruction Set Architectures (ISA) are usually implement by efficient emulation or binary translation techniques. This paper uses reconfigurable hardware to support (guest) operating system virtualization and not virtualization of hwaccelerators inside an operating system. The main idea of this paper is to replace emulation / binary translation by (re)configuration. Instead of emulating a processor-ISA on a CPU with another ISA, the required guest-processor will be configured into an FPGA and booted with a guest operating System (OS) as requested by a VM manager. This approach allows to overcome limitations of conventional system virtualization approaches, like the Popek and Goldberg theorem and provides the possibility to strengthen system security by means of hardware. The presented main idea is implemented and evaluated with a proof of concept demonstrator.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Advances in Computer Science and Its Applications
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)25 - 32
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 26.09.2016


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