Welcome to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Virtualization Guide. This guide covers all aspects of using
and managing virtualization products included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.
This book is divided into 7 parts:
• System Requirements
What is virtualization? Virtualization is a broad computing term for running software, usually operating systems, concurrently and isolated from other programs on one system. Most existing implementations of virtualization use a hypervisor, a software layer or subsystem that controls hardware and provides guest operating systems with access to underlying hardware. The hypervisor allows multiple operating systems to run on the same physical system by offering virtualized hardware to the guest operating system. There are various methods for virtualizing operating systems:
• Full virtualization uses hardware features of the processor to provide total abstraction of the underlying physical system and creates a new virtual machine in which the guest operating systems can run. No modifications are needed in the guest operating system. The guest operating system and any applications on the guest are not aware of the virtualized environment and run normally. Hardware-assisted virtualization is the technique used for full virtualization with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
• Para-virtualization uses a collection of software and data structures that are presented to the guest virtual machine, and requires software modifications in the guest to use the para-virtualized environment. Para-virtualization can encompass the entire kernel, as is the case for Xen paravirtualized guests, or simply drivers that virtualize I/O devices, as is the case for the virtio block and network devices.
• Software virtualization (or emulation) uses slower binary translation and other emulation techniques to run unmodified operating systems. Software virtualization is unsupported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
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