Benefits of NI Real-Time Hypervisor Systems

Publish Date: Apr 09, 2014 | 3 Ratings | 5.00 out of 5 | Print


NI Real-Time Hypervisor software uses virtualization technology to run LabVIEW Real-Time alongside either Windows XP, Windows 7, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux on just one controller. By taking advantage of the NI Real-Time Hypervisor in your application, you can save money on hardware and build consolidated systems that pack more capability into less physical footprint.

1. Introduction

Each engineering application has its own unique requirements. Some systems need precise timing and hard real-time performance, while others may require general-purpose OS capabilities like rich user interface graphics. Many advanced applications even make use of more than one operating system to perform the task at hand.

While running multiple operating systems in a design has traditionally meant using more than one set of computing hardware, NI Real-Time Hypervisor software enables engineers to consolidate systems by running both LabVIEW Real-Time and either Windows XP, Windows 7, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux on a single controller. In addition, the Real-Time Hypervisor is specially designed to maintain the determinism of LabVIEW Real-Time programs. Below are just some of the reasons to consider the NI Real-Time Hypervisor for your next application:

Reduce Cost and Physical Footprint

Multi-OS systems that make use of multiple computers often result in inefficiency. By using the NI Real-Time Hypervisor, you can lower hardware costs while reducing the amount of physical space that your system requires. This is especially important in deployed applications, or in locations where floor space is at a premium. 

Partition I/O Devices, RAM, and CPU Cores Quickly

Using the built in NI Real-Time Hypervisor Manager utility, you can partition each of your I/O devices to the OS of choice according to a number of supported configurations. You can also divide system RAM and CPU cores between OSs. Partitioning I/O between operating systems helps to maximize performance while allowing you to use standard NI device drivers in your LabVIEW applications.

Take Advantage of a Variety of Options for Sharing Data Between OSs

The NI Real-Time Hypervisor introduces a Virtual Ethernet connection between instances of LabVIEW Real-Time and Windows or Linux running on the same controller. Configurable and accessible just like a physical Ethernet interface, this connection is implemented in system memory and enables seamless porting of applications written for traditional (multi-computer) real-time systems. You can use the virtual Ethernet connection to share data using standard methods like TCP/IP and Shared Variables. 

*New* NI Real-Time Hypervisor 2.0 and higher versions also enable you to designate up to 95 MB of system RAM for communication between OSs; this is referred to as Shared Memory. Once reserved, you can access Shared Memory from LabVIEW or C applications using a low-level API and transfer data at rates up to 600 MB/s.

Make Better Use of Your Multicore Hardware

With the number of processor cores on a chip quickly increasing, engineers and scientists must use new techniques to make the most of this hardware. While using parallel programming languages like NI LabVIEW is one important step, combining multiple operating systems onto one multicore processor also provides an effective solution. The NI Real-Time Hypervisor works on select dual and quad-core PXI and Industrial Controllers, and partitions processor cores between OSs. 

*New* While the first version of NI Real-Time Hypervisor software mandated only one CPU core assigned to Windows XP, versions 2.0 and higher enable users to configure which CPU cores are assigned to LabVIEW Real-Time and Windows or Linux.

Get Up and Running Faster

PXI and Industrial Controller systems ship pre-configured when ordered with the NI Real-Time Hypervisor. This means that all necessary OS and hypervisor software will be installed, and your desired I/O-to-OS assignments will be confirmed before shipping. By ordering a NI Real-Time Hypervisor system through the online PXI Advisor, you can get your multi-OS system up and running in less time out of the box. 

*New* With versions 2.0 and higher of NI Real-Time Hypervisor software, some of the latest multicore PXI Express controllers are now supported.

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2. Next Steps

>> Take a Tour of NI Real-Time Hypervisor for Windows Software

>> Take a Tour of NI Real-Time Hypervisor Early Access Program for Linux Software

>> Review Benchmarks for Shared Memory on a NI Real-Time Hypervisor Systems

>> Review Hardware and Software Support in NI Real-Time Hypervisor Systems

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