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documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Documentation / Virtualization Guide / Virtual machine drivers
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP5

A Virtual machine drivers

Virtualization allows the consolidation of workloads on newer, more powerful, energy-efficient hardware. Paravirtualized operating systems such as SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server and other Linux distributions are aware of the underlying virtualization platform, and can therefore interact efficiently with it. Unmodified operating systems such as Microsoft Windows* are unaware of the virtualization platform and expect to interact directly with the hardware. Because this is not possible when consolidating servers, the hardware must be emulated for the operating system. Emulation can be slow, but it is especially troubling for high-throughput disk and network subsystems. Most performance loss occurs in this area.

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack (VMDP) contains 32-bit and 64-bit paravirtualized network, bus and block drivers for several Microsoft Windows operating systems. These drivers bring many of the performance advantages of paravirtualized operating systems to unmodified operating systems: only the paravirtualized device driver (not the rest of the operating system) is aware of the virtualization platform. For example, a paravirtualized disk device driver appears as a normal, physical disk to the operating system. However, the device driver interacts directly with the virtualization platform (with no emulation). This helps to efficiently deliver disk access, allowing the disk and network subsystems to operate at near native speeds in a virtualized environment, without requiring changes to existing operating systems.

The SUSE® Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack is available as an add-on product for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. For detailed information refer to https://www.suse.com/products/vmdriverpack/.

For more information, refer to the Official VMDP Installation Guide .