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Subject: Re: [virtio-dev] Re: Constraining where a guest may allocate virtio accessible resources

On 18.06.20 17:05, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 04:58:40PM +0200, Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>>>>>> Option 5 - Additional Device
>>>>>>> ============================
>>>>>>> The final approach would be to tie the allocation of virtqueues to
>>>>>>> memory regions as defined by additional devices. For example the
>>>>>>> proposed IVSHMEMv2 spec offers the ability for the hypervisor to present
>>>>>>> a fixed non-mappable region of the address space. Other proposals like
>>>>>>> virtio-mem allow for hot plugging of "physical" memory into the guest
>>>>>>> (conveniently treatable as separate shareable memory objects for QEMU
>>>>>>> ;-).
>>>>>> I think you forgot one approach: virtual IOMMU. That is the advanced
>>>>>> form of the grant table approach. The backend still "sees" the full
>>>>>> address space of the frontend, but it will not be able to access all of
>>>>>> it and there might even be a translation going on. Well, like IOMMUs work.
>>>>>> However, this implies dynamics that are under guest control, namely of
>>>>>> the frontend guest. And such dynamics can be counterproductive for
>>>>>> certain scenarios. That's where this static windows of shared memory
>>>>>> came up.
>>>>> Yes, I think IOMMU interfaces are worth investigating more too. IOMMUs
>>>>> are now widely implemented in Linux and virtualization software. That
>>>>> means guest modifications aren't necessary and unmodified guest
>>>>> applications will run.
>>>>> Applications that need the best performance can use a static mapping
>>>>> while applications that want the strongest isolation can map/unmap DMA
>>>>> buffers dynamically.
>>>> I do not see yet that you can model with an IOMMU a static, not guest
>>>> controlled window.
>>> Well basically the IOMMU will have as part of the
>>> topology description and range of addresses devices behind it
>>> are allowed to access. What's the problem with that?
>> I didn't look at the detail of the vIOMMU from that perspective, but our
>> requirement would be that it would just statically communicate to the
>> guest where DMA windows are, rather than allowing the guest to configure
>> that (which is the normal usage of an IOMMU).
> Right, I got that - IOMMUs aren't necessarily fully configurable though.
> E.g. some IOMMUs are restricted in the # of bits they can address.
>> In addition, it would only address the memory transfer topic. We would
>> still be left with the current issue of virtio that the hypervisor's
>> device model needs to understand all supported device types.
>> Jan
> I'd expect the DMA API would try to paper over that likely using
> bounce buffering. If you want to avoid copies, that's a harder
> problem generally.

Here I was referring to the permutations of the control path in a device
model when switching from, say, a storage to a network virtio device.
With PCI and MMIO (didn't check Channel I/O, but that's not portable
anyway), you need to patch the "first-level" hypervisor when you want to
add a brand-new virtio-sound device and the hypervisor is not yet aware
of it. For minimized setups, I would prefer to only reconfigure it and
just add a new backend service app or VM. Naturally, that model also
shrinks the logic the core hypervisor needs to provide for virtio.


Siemens AG, Corporate Technology, CT RDA IOT SES-DE
Corporate Competence Center Embedded Linux

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