KVM AVIC Support Coming To Linux 4.7 For Improving AMD Virtualization Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 19 May 2016 at 09:56 AM EDT. 2 Comments
The Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) code for Linux 4.7 is adding x86 AVIC support for further optimizing virtualization performance. AVIC is of relevance to AMD's Carrizo hardware and newer.

AVIC is short for Advanced Virtual Interrupt Controller and is designed for reducing interrupt overhead in virtualized environments. AVIC is AMD's alternative to Intel's APICv for APIC virtualization. AMD announced AVIC a few years ago but it's only with Carrizo processors and newer where it's supported.

The kernel patches for SVM AVIC do mention some performance figures for the benefit of this feature being implemented for KVM. The performance results show improvements in Hackbench for IPI performance but will yield smaller gains in performance for workloads not generating large numbers of interrupts.

AVIC is landing in Linux 4.7 via the KVM pull request. Aside from the KVM Advanced Virtual Interrupt Controller support, there doesn't appear to be anything else too significant feature-wise as part of this 4.7 KVM pull request.
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