AWS Tools … aka Paravirtual Drivers


As you’d expect, with any Hypervisor based workload, theres going to be a tool of something to allow the OS to interact with the underlying hardware (abstracted).

In Vmware, its been Vmware tools. There are cool things eg:  VMXNET3 which is a NIC and driver set specifically for virtualised workloads …. but did you know …..

There are AWS tools! Yes folks. AWS tools.
And they go out of date. Like Vmware tools
And they should be updated.

Who would have though hey. Well, EC2 is just another VM sitting on a Hypervisor. So why not. So lets have a look at Paravirtual Drivers.

AWS Paravirtual Drivers

So. I have a HVM type EC2, not PV, I don’t need drivers now …. or do I?

Yep, you do. In fact with the PV drivers on a HVM machine you may actually see an increase in performance over a traditional PV EC2! Huzzah!

Traditionally, the PV driver set allowed the OS to interact with the Hypervisor in an emulated hardware kinda way. With the later addition of HVM as a new instance /generation type, further hardware virtualisation became a thing, with improved performance (partly due to new instructions eg: VT-d, SR-IOV). Add the PV drivers and your EC2 is in a happy place.

One of the greatest benefits that we see with HVM over the previous generation is Networking. AWS have a good write up i am not going to plagiarise here. Theres a Linux version here too.




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