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The paravirtualized drivers in the SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack make it easy to get the performance you need, with support for a broad range of software and hardware.

Improve the performance of virtualized systems

Paravirtualization is a way of increasing the performance of virtualized systems. The SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack is a fee-based bundle of paravirtualized disk, network and balloon drivers. They let you run fully-virtualized Windows workloads on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with near-native performance.

The drivers do this by opening additional channels of communication between the Xen and KVM hypervisors in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and the unmodified guest operating systems running in a virtual environment. This accelerates network and storage input/output and improves overall efficiency.

How the paravirtualized drivers deliver higher performance

Paravirtualization typically delivers higher performance than full virtualization because the operating system and hypervisor work together more efficiently without the overhead imposed by the emulation of the entire system's resources.

However, paravirtualization requires that guest operating systems be modified to recognize the hypervisor, and while more and more operating systems today are being modified to recognize Xen and KVM hypervisors, only a subset of the major operating platforms have been modified.

Although fully virtualized workloads run slower than their equivalent paravirtualized ones, full virtualization does not require that the guest operating system be modified. Therefore, more workloads and guest operating systems today can be fully virtualized than can be paravirtualized.

The paravirtualized drivers in the Driver Pack deliver the performance benefits of paravirtualization, with the wider availability of full virtualization.