Browse Prior Art Database

Virtual Machine Interface/Virtual Recource Manager

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039396D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 52K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Greenberg, MS: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

By providing a Virtual Resource Manager (VRM) to control hardware and provide a high-level interface for multiple virtual machines, multiple concurrent applications and operating systems in virtual machines are supported by controlling the sharing of system resources. Using a hardware base consisting of a high-speed Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) microcomputer with hardware assist for virtual memory management and an IBM PC AT (Advanced Technology) compatible I/O bus, it is desirable to provide the following features: 1. Provide a high-level machine interface, which simplifies the development and implementation of operating systems and their applications. 2. Maximize performance to support real-time process control-type applications. 3.

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Virtual Machine Interface/Virtual Recource Manager

By providing a Virtual Resource Manager (VRM) to control hardware and provide a high-level interface for multiple virtual machines, multiple concurrent applications and operating systems in virtual machines are supported by controlling the sharing of system resources. Using a hardware base consisting of a high-speed Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) microcomputer with hardware assist for virtual memory management and an IBM PC AT (Advanced Technology) compatible I/O bus, it is desirable to provide the following features: 1. Provide a high-level machine interface, which simplifies the development and implementation of

operating systems and their applications. 2. Maximize performance to support real-time process control-type applications. 3. Allow users to easily customize the system to meet their needs by providing an extendable, flexible

interface. 4. Provide compatibility with IBM PC applications by

supporting an Intel 80286 coprocessor. The features are supported by a Virtual Resource Manager (VRM) which controls hardware and provides a high-level inteface for multiple virtual machines.

The VRM supports multiple concurrent applications and operating systems in virtual machines by controlling the sharing of system resources. Resources are classified as serially reusable or shared. Serially reusable resources may be used by multiple applications, but only one at a time. For example, printers are serially reusable.

Shared resources may be used "simultaneously" by multiple applications. The VRM creates "virtual" devices to provide the illusion of multiple copies of real, shared devices. These virtual resources may be shared by dividing them into logical pieces, such as disks or memory. Alternatively, resources may be time shared, such as the processor and communication lines. The VRM defines a high-level machine-like user interface, known as the Virtual Machine Interface (VMI). The VMI includes a set of operations which allows users to install programs which extend the function of the VRM.

These programs may be used to control new devices, not supported by the base system, or to augment or replace IBM-supplied device support programs. The customization of the VRM can be performed in real-time. That is, the normal function of the machine may proceed while it is being customized by the addition of new software. The VRM allows user-installed code to function as an integral part of the system.

The VRM includes support for the 80286 coprocessor so that PC applications can run concurrently with other virtual machines sharing system resources. The VRM is designed to maximize performance of many concurrent application programs using many hardware devices. The VMI consists of the following: 1. The problem state instruction set. Hardware executes these instructions directly. 2. A simulated privileged machine structure and a set of privileged machine functions. Operating systems

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