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performance evaluation of AMD SEV


The following is an abstract for my Guided Research project @TUM, if you are interested you can read the entire paper here together with the source code.


We report a preliminary performance evaluation of AMD SEV (Secure Environment Virtualization) technologies. We are running virtual machines using QEMU/KVM as hypervisor on a host we control. Details about our environment can be found in section environment.

Confidential Computing technologies may be predominant in the future, as more and more customers with sensitive computing workloads move their code from on-premise hardware to public cloud vendors. An important aspect of successfully migrating workload will be identifying new performance bottlenecks. After thoroughly explaining how the technologies introduced by AMD work we run some measurements to assess the impact these have on micro-benchmarks and traditional workloads such as compilation of popular open-source projects.

We find that Confidential Computing technologies cause some slowdowns for memory operations, while the performance degradation in CPU intensive workloads is generally negligible.

(yes, I do feel the impostor syndrome 🐻)