System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System

Overview of Full Virtualization

In a full virtualization, the operating system is not aware that it is running in a virtualized environment under xVM. A fully virtualized guest domain is referred to as a hardware-assisted virtual machine (HVM). An HVM guest domain runs an unmodified operating system.

Fully-virtualized guest domains are supported under xVM with virtualization extensions available on Intel-VT or AMD Secure Virtual Machine (SVM) processors. These extensions must be present and enabled. Some BIOS versions disable the extensions by default. Note that this that hardware is also needed in HVM+PVIO configurations such as Solaris 10 5/09 (Solaris 10 U7) guest domains.

Note –

Full virtualization requires that the hypervisor transparently intercept many operations that an operating system typically performs directly on the hardware. This interception allows the hypervisor to ensure that a domain cannot read or modify another domain's memory, cannot interfere with its device access, and cannot shut down the CPUs it is using.