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Friday, October 30 • 14:30 - 15:00
Virtio-(balloon|pmem|mem): Managing Guest Memory - David Hildenbrand & Michael S. Tsirkin, Red Hat

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How to resize guest memory? Can we reduce host swapping? Can we shrink the guest page cache? Traditional ballooning has been the answer to these questions for more than a decade - with advantages but also well-known issues. There is ongoing work to answer these questions in a better way, slowly but steadily obsoleting the original basis of virtio-balloon: the balloon. In addition to recent virtio-balloon extensions (e.g., free page hinting), new approaches, like virtio-pmem and virtio-mem, can substitute or replace ballooning. However, supporting technologies that mess with guest memory in the hypervisor (e.g., vfio, encrypted VMs), and closed-source guest operating systems become more challenging. In this talk, we give an overview of the current state of virtio-balloon, virtio-pmem and virtio-mem, discussing advantages, issues, and open items of each, and draw a picture of the future.

avatar for David Hildenbrand

David Hildenbrand

Senior Software Engineer, Red Hat
David has been working on QEMU/KVM for almost 6 years now. His current projects are mostly centered around memory hot(un)plug and memory overcommit in the context of virtual machines. While he's involved with QEMU/KVM on s390x and Linux memory management in general, his main projects... Read More →

Michael S. Tsirkin

Distinguished Engineer, Red Hat Inc
Michael has been with Red Hat for more than 10 years. In his role as a Distinguished Engineer he acts as a chair of the Virtio Technical Committee, overseeing the development of the virtio specification for virtual devices. He also maintains several subsystems in QEMU and Linux and... Read More →

Friday October 30, 2020 14:30 - 15:00 GMT
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