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Nested Virtualization For Dummies – The Secret Behind Running VMware Workloads Unmodified on AWS

If you truly get how the x86 hypervisor changed the compute landscape forever, you’ll find our heart beating faster when you realize exactly what it means to virtualize an entire multi-VM application environment including its complex networking. Essentially, a Cloud Application Hypervisor extends the key principles of encapsulation, abstraction, consolidation and automation from a single VM (like what VMware pioneered for x86) to a multi-VM application. In addition, this encapsulation and abstraction can allow you to run the application unmodified on any cloud.

Lets look at what this means:




High Availability

x86 Hypervisor

An OS & app treated as a single entity – “the virtual machine” – so you can snapshot/clone/ live migrate the entire VM

The “virtual machine” ie exact same OS & app can be automatically provisioned on any x86 machine

Run multiple VMs on a single physical x86 to maximize physical resource utilization and save costs

No downtime with an x86 failure. Simply bring up the same VM on any other machine

Cloud Application Hypervisor

Multiple VMs with their network & storage encapsulated as a single entity a “multi-VM app”  – so you can snapshot//clone/live migrate the entire app environment

The “multi-VM app”, ie exact same VM images, network & storage, automatically provisioned in any cloud irrespective of the underlying hypervisor

Run multiple VMs on an extra-large cloud machine to maximize cloud resource utilization and save costs in the cloud.

No downtime with a particular cloud failure or geo-specific issues. Simply bring up the same multi-VM app on any other cloud.

Nested virtualization

Our future of virtualization blog series explains this concept in more technical depth, along with performance benchmarks.

The Ravello cloud application hypervisor is delivered as a SaaS, consisting of a nested virtualization solution, a software-defined IO overlay network and an application framework. Maish says seeing Ravello’s cloud application hypervisor triggered the same emotional reaction as the first time he saw a vMotion in action and William Lam who is a self-proclaimed fellow fan of nested virtualization concepts has written a great blog post on Ravello’s nested virtualization solution

About Ravello Systems

Ravello is the industry’s leading nested virtualization and software-defined networking SaaS. It enables enterprises to create cloud-based development, test, UAT, integration and staging environments by automatically cloning their VMware-based applications in AWS. Ravello is built by the same team that developed the KVM hypervisor in Linux.

Check our product demo video

Nested Virtualization For Dummies – The Secret Behind Running VMware Workloads Unmodified on AWS
Shruti Bhat

By Shruti Bhat

Shruti Bhat is the VP of Marketing at Ravello Systems. Prior to Ravello, Shruti was a virtualization junkie at VMware, where she managed the software-defined storage product line. She combines her MBA at UCLA Anderson with a bachelor’s in computer science engineering and has previously led R&D teams at IBM and HP as well as immersed herself in start-ups.
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