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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "System and Method for Ballooning Wth Assigned Devices", for Approval

September 4, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Bonzini, Paolo (Milano, IT); Tsirkin, Michael (Ra'anana, IL), filed on February 14, 2013, was made available online on August 21, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Red Hat Israel, Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates generally to memory management of virtual operating systems, and more particularly to ballooning with assigned devices.

"As the value and use of information continues to increase, individuals and businesses seek additional ways to process and store information. One option is a computing system. Computing systems may vary in complexity from a single processor operating in relative isolation to large networks of interconnected processors. The interconnected processors may be in close proximity to each other or separated by great distances both physically and as distance is measured in computer networking terms. The interconnected processors may also work together in a closely cooperative fashion or in a loose weakly coupled fashion. Because technology and processing needs and requirements may vary between different applications, the structure and arrangement of the computing system may vary significantly between two different computing systems. The flexibility in computing systems allows them to be configured for both specific users, specific uses, or for more general purposes. Computing system may also include a variety of hardware and software components that may be configured to process, store, and communicate information based on the needs of the users and the applications.

"Additionally, some examples of computing systems include non-transient, tangible machine-readable media that include executable code that when run by one or more processors, may cause the one or more processors to perform the steps of methods described herein. Some common forms of machine readable media include, for example, floppy disk, flexible disk, hard disk, magnetic tape, any other magnetic medium, CD-ROM, any other optical medium, punch cards, paper tape, any other physical medium with patterns of holes, RAM, PROM, EPROM, FLASH-EPROM, any other memory chip or cartridge, and/or any other medium from which a processor or computer is adapted to read.

"As computing systems become ever more distributed over the Internet and the 'cloud,' the boundary between one computer or machine in the computing system and another computer or machine becomes less distinct. In some instances, a single physical computer may play host to more than one computer or machine using virtualization. This provides great flexibility in the computing system as it is not always necessary to arrange systems in terms of a single application being hosted by a single physical server. In virtualization, a system may host multiple virtual machines on the same server. Each of the virtual machines may appear to the rest of the computing system as separate computers or machines, but they may actually be one of many virtual machines being emulated by the same server. This may allow the same server to provide virtual machines running different operating systems and applications as well as to provide different services to different users. As typically configured, each of the physical servers in a virtual environment runs a host operating system that manages the server's hardware and coordinates the use of various computing resources on the server, such as memory, for each of the virtual machines, which are running a virtual or guest operating system. As each of the virtual machines become more complex, management of the computing resources may become more complex as well.

"Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide improved systems and methods for managing memory in a virtual environment."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "According to one embodiment, a method of memory ballooning includes inflating a memory balloon, determining whether a first memory page is locked based on information associated with the first memory page, when the first memory page is locked unlocking the first memory page and removing first memory addresses associated with the first memory page from management by an input/output memory management unit (IOMMU), and reallocating the first memory page. The first memory page is associated with a first assigned device.

"According to another embodiment, a method of memory ballooning includes receiving a memory balloon inflation request requesting that at least one memory page be made available, identifying a first memory page that may be made available, placing the first memory page in the memory balloon, and preventing use of the first memory page while it is in the memory balloon. The first memory page is associated with an assigned device.

"According to yet another embodiment, a non-transitory machine-readable medium including a first plurality of machine-readable instructions which when executed by one or more processors associated with a host operating system are adapted to cause the one or more processors to perform a method including inflating a memory balloon, determining whether a first memory page is locked based on information associated with the first memory page, when the first memory placed in the memory balloon is locked unlocking the first memory and removing first memory addresses associated with the memory from management by an input/output memory management unit (IOMMU), and reallocating the first memory. The first memory placed in the memory balloon is associated with a first assigned device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a simplified diagram of a memory management system in a virtual environment according to some examples.

"FIG. 2 is a simplified diagram of the memory balloon of FIG. 1 with two memory pages placed therein according to some examples.

"FIG. 3 is a simplified diagram of a method of memory ballooning according to some examples.

"FIG. 4 is a simplified diagram of a memory management system in a virtual environment with an assigned device according to some examples.

"FIG. 5 is a simplified diagram of a method of input/output using an assigned device according to some examples.

"FIG. 6 is a simplified diagram of a method of adding memory to a balloon that is associated with an assigned device according to some examples.

"FIG. 7 is a simplified diagram of a method of removing memory from a balloon and associating it with an assigned device according to some examples.

"In the figures, elements having the same designations have the same or similar functions."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Bonzini, Paolo; Tsirkin, Michael. System and Method for Ballooning Wth Assigned Devices. Filed February 14, 2013 and posted August 21, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=425&p=9&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140814.PD.&OS=PD/20140814&RS=PD/20140814

Keywords for this news article include: Red Hat Israel Ltd.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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