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Old Sep 22, 2007, 10:28 AM   #1
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Pr3tty F1y
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Default How does this cpu virtualization flag work?

Ok, there's all this talk about virtualization, but will it really be any better than say VMware or VirtualPC? Will it allow me to literally "duplicate" my system so a virtual install of windows will be able to access directx or hardware accelerated audio? Or is it simply just more useful for server markets just making it easier run multiple virtual cpu's with better use of CPU power/better security?
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Old Sep 22, 2007, 11:30 AM   #2
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The virtualization extensions allow better performance of hypervisors or virtualization software. VirtualPC and VMware Server are virtualization platforms that run on top off Windows (and Linux), and there ane other products too - Xen, Virtual Iron, Virtuozo, etc.

What the VT instructions do is allow hardware offload of some software functions - kinda like SSE boosted multimedia when it was introduced. It also allows for more security and more functions. On Intel chips, it allows 64bit VM's. AMD doens't need this to run 64bit VMs; revision D processors and later are capable. All processors can run VM's, but specific enhancements require VT extensions.

It is useful for everybody, from running a second Windows install for legacy games or apps (that don't bang the gfx hardware) to trying out new OS's, developing apps, creating personal home networks (for example, setting up your own MS domain, or even Linux LDAP).

While the primary benefit of Virtualization is server consolidation, resulting in lower power and cooling costs, and increasing repsonse time (for example, provisioning a server takes seconds, not days or weeks), for the home user there are lots of potential uses.

In the Distributed Computing forum we are running Linux SMP Folding @ Home in VM's, getting incredible results and performance, running in a VMWare VM.

There are inherent restrictions with Virtualization, such as memory, and direct hardware access. Currently there is no solution available with Dx9 support, however this is rumoured to be coming. The reason for this is virtualization eliminates hardware specific dependancies - it doesn't see a Dual Core AMD procesor, or an Intel Hyperthreaded, just a generic Intel CPU with the extensions provided by your Proc. Same goes for chipset and VGA. The benefit for this is that your VM can run on any machine. You are no longer reinstalling for swapping mobo's, or changing graphics cards.

If you wanted to duplicate your system, you could use VMware's free Convertor to create a VM of your system, and power it on with VMware Player or Server (both free products), to try it out. The process is no destructive to your original install, and customizable.
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Old Sep 22, 2007, 03:33 PM   #3
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VM's got me through my MCSE courses so I could do 99% of the labs from home. My XP box could have a Server and a couple of clients all running on it alone, this allowed me to really stay ahead of the courses.
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Old Sep 22, 2007, 05:59 PM   #4
Pr3tty F1y
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Thank you very much for the info. Cool stuff.

Now if there was only a VMware implementation of this that would allow me to use VMware tools on Mac OSx86

Caveman, I'd +rep you, but the board software is being mean
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