VMGL: VMM-Independent Graphics Acceleration (Xen Summit 2007)

H. Andres Lagar-Cavilla

Xen Summit, Yorktown Heights, NY, April 2007



This talk 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.