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Do-It-Yourself Virtual Memory Translation

Hanna Alam, Tianhao Zhang, Mattan Erez, Yoav Etsion

Abstract: In this paper, we introduce the Do-It-Yourself virtual memory translation (DVMT) architecture as a flexible complement for current hardware-fixed translation flows. DVMT decouples the virtual-to-physical mapping process from the access permissions, giving applications freedom in choosing mapping schemes, while maintaining security within the operating system. Furthermore, DVMT is designed to support virtualized environments, as a means to collapse the costly, hardware-assisted two-dimensional translations. We describe the architecture in detail and demonstrate its effectiveness by evaluating several different DVMT schemes on a range of virtualized applications with a model based on measurements from a commercial system. We show that different DVMT configurations preserve the native performance, while achieving speedups of 1.2x to 2.0x in virtualized environments.
Keywords: TLB / address translation / virtual machines / virtual memory

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