acontis Hypervisor: Type 1 Real-time Hypervisor for x86 CPUs

The acontis Type 1 real-time Hypervisor is an optional and independent enhancement of the Type 2 real-time Hypervisor solutions for Windows. This solution enables customers to fulfil demands for more sophisticated use cases and it is a perfect fit for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices, Edge Controllers, and high-end real-time hardware and workload consolidation.

The acontis Hypervisor combines the existing virtual machine hypervisor technology for real-time operating systems (RTOS VM), with the industry standard Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor for standard operating systems

With acontis' existing, industry proven real-time virtualization technology, multiple hard real-time operating systems (Real-time Linux, VxWorks, etc.) can run in native speed. With the addition of KVM to this solution, multiple standard operating systems like Windows and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, etc.) can operate in parallel. KVM offers virtual hardware access, as well as para-virtualization for improved performance. For best performance, KVM supports hardware passthrough of PCI, USB, and VGA devices. Each guest OS is fully independent and separate and can be restarted, or completely shutdown, while the other guests continue without being affected.

RTOS Virtual Machine Hypervisor

The RTOS Virtual Machine hypervisor technology provides an independent layer to run any RTOS in native speed. There is no virtualization overhead introduced and all RTOS drivers, the operating systems and event the applications have direct and fast hardware access. This RTOS VM hypervisor technology is successfully used by customers all over the world for more than 10 years. The new acontis Hypervisor solution utilizes this exact same RTOS VM technology without any modifications, so existing customer applications can be used without needing to update or change anything.

KVM Hypervisor

Today KVM is one of the most popular Type 1 hypervisors in use. It is commonly found in security critical systems that require high-availability like the cloud solutions from Google (Google Cloud Platform), Amazon (AWS) or Oracle (Oracle Cloud).
To increase performance, devices for USB, Ethernet and/or Graphics (GPU) can be completely passed through to the standard guests like Windows or Linux. Alternatively, it is possible to para-virtualize devices for the hard disk, ethernet or graphics controller to reduce the amount of necessary hardware without compromising throughput.

Key Technical Features

The acontis Hypervisor is the perfect synthesis of the widely used KVM virtualization solution and the industry proven RTOS Virtual Machine hypervisor for real-time operating systems.

General

  • Supports Multiple Operating Systems: VxWorks® RTOS, real-time Linux, Standard Linux, Microsoft® Windows®, proprietary Roll-your-own, Bare metal, any unmodified OS
  • RTOS containers including applications run on bare metal core with no virtualization overhead and direct hardware access
  • Fully separated and independent guest operation
  • User defined guest startup sequence
  • Utilize any number of CPU cores per single guest
  • Independent reboot of all guests while others continue operation
  • Virtual Networking between all guests
  • Inter-OS Communication: Shared Memory, Events, Interlocked data access, Pipes, Message Queues and Real-time sockets for high speed application level communication
  • Hypervisor provided fileserver for all guests

RTOS-VM

  • Multiple real-time Operating Systems (Linux, VxWorks, On Time RTOS-32, bare-metal, etc.)
  • Fast real-time interrupt handling and short thread latencies
  • Direct hardware access with no virtualization overhead
  • Compatible with the existing acontis Windows real-time solutions (applications can be shared or cross-migrated between both solutions)

KVM

Standard Windows (7, 8, 10) and Linux operating systems (Ubuntu, Debian etc.) run under control of the KVM hypervisor. This hypervisor provides many sophisticated features:

  • Multiple Windows and/or standard Linux instances
  • Windows/Linux containers with snapshot support to easily switch between different application situations without the need to install multiple OS instances. Snapshots create a view of a running virtual machine at a given point in time. Multiple snapshots can be saved and used to return to a previous state, in the event of a problem
  • Passthrough support: To increase performance, devices for USB, Ethernet, and/or Graphics (GPU) can be completely passed through to the standard Windows or Linux guests
  • Paravirtualization: Para-virtualized devices for the hard disk, the ethernet or graphics controller reduce the amount of necessary hardware without compromising throughput
  • Graphics virtualization to provide 3D accelerated graphics to multiple guests

More Information

For datasheets and evaluation software, please take a look into the download area