1.1 Overview

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server includes the latest open source virtualization technologies, Xen and KVM. With these Hypervisors, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server can be used to provision, de-provision, install, monitor and manage multiple virtual machines (VM Guests) on a single physical system (for more information see Hypervisor).

Out of the box, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server can create virtual machines running both modified, highly tuned, paravirtualized operating systems and fully virtualized unmodified operating systems. Full virtualization allows the guest OS to run unmodified and requires the presence of AMD64/IntelĀ 64 processors which supports either Intel* Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) or AMD* Virtualization (AMD-V)).

The primary component of the operating system that enables virtualization is a Hypervisor (or virtual machine manager), which is a layer of software that runs directly on server hardware. It controls platform resources, sharing them among multiple VM Guests and their operating systems by presenting virtualized hardware interfaces to each VM Guest.

SUSE Linux Enterprise is an enterprise-class Linux server operating system that offers two types of Hypervisors: Xen and KVM. Both Hypervisors support virtualization on 64-bit x86-based hardware architectures. Both Xen and KVM support full virtualization mode. In addition, Xen supports paravirtualized mode. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Xen or KVM acts as a virtualization host server (VHS) that supports VM Guests with its own guest operating systems. The SUSE VM Guest architecture consists of a Hypervisor and management components that constitute the VHS, which runs many application-hosting VM Guests.

In Xen, the management components run in a privileged VM Guest often called Dom0. In KVM, where the Linux kernel acts as the hypervisor, the management components run directly on the VHS.