PDL Abstract

VMM-Independent Graphics Acceleration

VEE’07, June 13–15, 2007, San Diego, California, USA.

H. Andres Lagar-Cavilla*, Niraj Tolia, M. Satyanarayanan, Eyal de Lara*

School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

*University of Toronto


This paper describes VMGL, a cross-platform OpenGL virtualization solution that is both VMM and GPU independent. VMGL allows applications executing within virtual machines (VMs) to leverage hardware rendering acceleration, thus solving a problem that has limited virtualization of a growing class of graphicsintensive applications. VMGL also provides applications running within VMs with suspend and resume capabilities across GPUs from different vendors. Our experimental results from a number of graphics-intensive applications show that VMGL provides excellent rendering performance, coming within 14% or better of native graphics hardware acceleration. Further, VMGL’s performance is two orders of magnitude better than that of software rendering, the commonly available alternative today for graphics-intensive applications running in virtualized environments. Our results confirm VMGL’s portability across VMware Workstation and Xen (on VT and non-VT hardware), and across Linux (with and without paravirtualization), FreeBSD, and Solaris. Finally, the resource demands of VMGL align well with the emerging trend of multi-core processors.

KEYWORDS: Virtualization, Graphics, Hardware Acceleration, Portability, VMM-independence