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Virtualization is used increasingly in data centers to achieve server consolidation. More and more products (commercial and open source) are available; virtualization is even natively included in Linux distributions like in the upcoming Microsoft Windows server. In this paper we present the virtualization tests carried out by EDIT R&D since 2005 to improve the durability of industrial applications running on obsolete hardware platforms. The applications based on the Intelpsilas x86 architecture, and requiring no specific hardware, can be easily virtualized. Thus their lifetime can be extended as long as the virtualization software is adapted to the new hardware of the servers. For applications requiring specific hardware, virtualization is not easy. In this paper we present how to implement the support of a new peripheral, using the open source virtualization software QEMU. We also discuss how the IOs of the drivers are forwarded from the emulated hardware to another hardware that has the same features.
Date of Conference: 13-16 July 2008