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The NIC Is the Hypervisor: Bare-Metal Guests in IaaS Clouds
Jeffrey C. Mogul, Jayaram Mudigonda, Jose Renato Santos, and Yoshio Turner, HP Labs
Cloud computing does not inherently require the use of virtual machines, and some cloud customers prefer or even require “bare metal” systems, where no hypervisor separates the guest operating system from the CPU. Even for bare-metal nodes, the cloud provider must find a means to isolate the guest system from other cloud resources, and to manage the instantiation and removal of guests. We argue that an enhanced NIC, together with standard features of modern servers, can provide all of the functions for which a hypervisor would normally be required.
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