Analysis of Intel IA-64 processor support for a secure virtual machine monitor
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This thesis explores the Intel IA-64 architecture's capability to support a secure virtual machine monitor. The major mission of a virtual machine monitor is to provide an execution environment identical to the real machine environment for virtual machines. A VMM duplicates the real resources of a processor for virtual machines while making a virtual machine think that it is running on a real machine. As a result, a virtual machine monitor allows multiple virtual machines to run concurrently on the same machine. A secure VMM on the Intel IA-64 architecture would offer several benefits. A secure VMM would ensure that security policy is enforced by constraining information flow between the supported virtual machines. This would provide PC users with a more secure environment in which to run COTS operating systems. The Intel IA-64 architecture was analyzed to determine if it is virtualizable. Three types of virtual machine monitors and their hardware requirements have been defined. The IA-64 architecture was mapped to these hardware requirements. Analysis showed that the IA-64 architecture meets three main hardware requirements. However, IA-64 instruction set contains 18 sensitive unprivileged instructions. These instructions prevent the IA-64 architecture from being used for a Type I VMM. Several virtualization techniques used in some architectures are discussed to determine if these techniques could be applicable to virtualization of the IA-64 architecture.
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Robin, John Scott. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1999-09);This thesis addresses the problem of implementing secure virtual machine monitors (VMM) on the Intel Pentium architecture. A VMM allows multiple operating systems to run concurrently under virtual machines on a single ...
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