Virtio network paravirtualization driver: Implementation and performance of a de-facto standard

Gal Motika, Shlomo Weiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the techniques used to improve I/O performance of virtual machines is paravirtualization. Paravirtualized devices are intended to reduce the performance overhead on full virtualization where all hardware devices are emulated. The interface of a paravirtualized device is not identical to that of the underlying hardware. The OS of the virtual guest machine must be ported in order to use a paravirtualized device. In this paper, the network virtualization done by the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is described. The KVM model is different from other Virtual Machines Monitors (VMMs) because the KVM is a Linux kernel model and it depends on hardware support. In this work, the overhead of using such virtual networks is been measured. A paravirtualized model by using the virtio [38] network driver is described, and some performance results of web benchmark on the two models are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Standards and Interfaces
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Drivers
  • Kernel-based virtual machine
  • Operating systems
  • Virtual machines
  • Virtualization


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