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Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC] Device sandboxing

From: Paul Moore
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC] Device sandboxing
Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2011 11:34:24 -0500
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On Friday, December 09, 2011 04:17:50 PM Paul Brook wrote:
> > A group of us are starting to work on sandboxing QEMU device emulation
> > code.  We're just getting started investigating various approaches, and
> > want to engage the community to gather input.
> > 
> > Following are the design points that we are currently considering:
> > 
> > * Decompose QEMU into multiple processes:
> >      * This could be done such that QEMU devices execute in
> >      separate
> >      
> >        processes based on device type, e.g. all block devices in
> >        one
> >        process and all network devices in a second process. 
> >        Another
> >        alternative is executing a separate process per device.
> I can't help wondering if nested virtualization would be a better solution.
> i.e. have an outer VM that only implements a trusted subset of devices.
> Inside that run a VM that provides the flakey legacy device emulation you
> expect to be compromised.

A few questions about this approach come to mind:

1. Does nested virtualization work across all the different hardware assisted 
virtualization platforms/CPUs?

2. What is the additional performance overhead for nested virtualization?  
Generalizations are okay, I'm just trying to get a basic understanding.

3. What, if any, management concerns are there with nested virtualization?

paul moore
virtualization @ redhat

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