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[RFC,v2,12/12] docs: Add confidential guest live migration documentation

Message ID 20210823141636.65975-13-dovmurik@linux.ibm.com (mailing list archive)
State New, archived
Headers show
Series Confidential guest-assisted live migration | expand

Commit Message

Dov Murik Aug. 23, 2021, 2:16 p.m. UTC
The new page is linked from the main index, otherwise sphinx complains
that "document isn't included in any toctree"; I assume there would be a
better place for it in the documentation tree.

Signed-off-by: Dov Murik <dovmurik@linux.ibm.com>
 docs/confidential-guest-live-migration.rst | 145 +++++++++++++++++++++
 docs/confidential-guest-support.txt        |   5 +
 docs/index.rst                             |   1 +
 3 files changed, 151 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 docs/confidential-guest-live-migration.rst
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diff --git a/docs/confidential-guest-live-migration.rst b/docs/confidential-guest-live-migration.rst
new file mode 100644
index 0000000000..65b6111ff1
--- /dev/null
+++ b/docs/confidential-guest-live-migration.rst
@@ -0,0 +1,145 @@ 
+Confidential Guest Live Migration
+When migrating regular QEMU guests, QEMU reads the guest's RAM and sends it
+over to the migration target host, where QEMU there writes it into the target
+guest's RAM and starts the VM.  This mechanism doesn't work when the guest
+memory is encrypted or QEMU is prevented from reading it in another way.
+In order to support live migration in such scenarios, QEMU relies on an
+in-guest migration helper which can securely extract RAM content from the
+guest in order to send it to the target.  The migration helper is implemented as
+part of the VM's firmware in OVMF.
+Migration flow
+Source VM
+The source VM is started with an extra mirror vcpu which is not part of the
+main VM but shared the same memory mapping.  This vcpu is started at a special
+entry point which runs a dedicated migration helper; the migration helper
+simply waits for commands from QEMU.  When migration starts using the
+``migrate`` command, QEMU starts saving the state of the different devices.
+When it reaches saving RAM pages, it'll check for each page whether it is
+encrypted or not; for encrypted pages, it'll send a command to the migration
+helper to extract the given page.  The migration helper receives this command,
+reads the page content, encrypts it with a transport key, and returns the
+newly-encrypted page to QEMU.  QEMU saves those pages to the outgoing migration
+stream using the ``RAM_SAVE_GUEST_MH_ENCRYPTED_PAGE`` subtype of the
+When QEMU reaches the last stage of RAM migration, it stops the source VM to
+avoid dirtying the last pages of RAM.  However, the mirror vcpu must be kept
+running so the migration helper can still extract pages from the guest memory.
+Target VM
+Usually QEMU migration target VMs are started with the ``-incoming``
+command-line option which starts the VM paused.  However, in order to migrate
+confidential guests we must have the migration helper running inside the guest;
+in such a case, we start the target with a special ``-fw_cfg`` value that tells
+OVMF to load the migration handler code into memory and then enter a CPU dead
+loop.  After this short "boot" completes, QEMU can switch to the "migration
+incoming" mode; we do that with the new ``start-migrate-incoming`` QMP command
+that makes the target VM listen for incoming migration connections.
+QEMU will load the state of VM devices as it arrives from the incoming
+migration stream.  When it encounters a RAM page with the
+``RAM_SAVE_GUEST_MH_ENCRYPTED_PAGE`` subtype, it will send its
+transport-encrypted content and guest physical address to the migration helper.
+The migration helper running inside the guest will decrypt the page using the
+transport key and place the content in memory (again, that memory page is not
+accessible to host due to the confidential guest properties; for example, in SEV
+it is hardware-encrypted with a VM-specific key).
+In order to start the source and target VMs with mirror vCPUs, the
+``mirrorvcpus=`` option must be passed to ``-smp`` . For example::
+    # ${QEMU} -smp 5,mirrorvcpus=1 ...
+This command starts a VM with 5 vcpus of which 4 are main vcpus (available for
+the guest OS) and 1 is mirror vcpu.
+Moreover, in both the source and target we need to instruct OVMF to start the
+migration helper running in the auxiliary vcpu.  This is achieved using the
+following command-line option::
+    # ${QEMU} -fw_cfg name=opt/ovmf/PcdSevIsMigrationHelper,string=0 ...
+In the target VM we need to add another ``-fw_cfg`` entry to instruct OVMF to
+start only the migration helepr, which will wait for incoming pages (the target
+cannot be started with ``-incoming`` because that option completely pauses the
+VM, not allowing the migration helper to run). Because the migration helper must
+be running when the incoming RAM pages are received, starting the target VM with
+the ``-incoming`` option doesn't work (with that option, the VM doesn't start
+executing).  Instead, start the target VM without ``-incoming`` but with the
+following option::
+    # ${QEMU} -fw_cfg name=opt/ovmf/PcdSevIsMigrationTarget,string=1 ...
+After the VM boots into the migration helper, we instruct QEMU to listen for
+incoming migration connections by sending the following QMP command::
+    { "execute": "start-migrate-incoming",
+      "arguments": { "uri": "tcp:" } }
+Now that the target is ready, we instruct the source VM to start migrating its
+state using the regular ``migrate`` QMP command, supplying the target VMs
+listening address::
+    { "execute": "migrate",
+      "arguments": { "uri": "tcp:" } }
+Implementation details
+Migration helper <-> QEMU communication
+The migration helper is running inside the guest (implemented as part of OVMF).
+QEMU communicates with it using a mailbox protocol over two shared (unencrypted)
+4K RAM pages.
+The first page contains a ``SevMigHelperCmdParams`` struct at offset 0x0
+(``cmd_params``) and a ``MigrationHelperHeader`` struct at offset 0x800
+(``io_hdr``).  The second page (``io_page``) is dedicated for encrypted page
+In order to save a confidential RAM page, QEMU will fill the ``cmd_params``
+struct to indicate the SEV_MIG_HELPER_CMD_ENCRYPT command and the requested gpa
+(guest physical address), and then set the ``go`` field to 1.  Meanwhile the
+migration helper waits for the ``go`` field to become non-zero; after it notices
+``go`` is 1 it'll read the gpa, read the content of the relevant page from the
+guest's memory, encrypt it with the transport key, and store the
+transport-encrypted page in the the ``io_page``.  Additional envelope data like
+encryption IV and other fields are stored in ``io_hdr``.  After the migration is
+done writing to ``io_page`` and ``io_hdr``, it sets the ``done`` field to 1.  At
+this point QEMU notices that the migration helper is done and can continue its
+part, which is saving the header and page to the outgoing migration stream.
+Similar process is used when loading a confidential RAM from the incoming
+migration stream.  QEMU reads the header and the encrypted page from the stream,
+and copies them into the shared areas ``io_hdr`` and ``io_page`` respectably.
+It then fills the ``cmd_params`` struct to indicate the
+SEV_MIG_HELPER_CMD_DECRYPT command and the gpa, and sets ``go`` to 1.  The
+migration helper will notice the command, will decrypt the page using the
+transport key and will place the decrypted content in the requetsed gpa, and set
+``done`` to 1 to allow QEMU to continue processing the next item in the incoming
+migration stream.
+Shared pages address discovery
+In the current implementation the address of the two shared pages is hard-coded
+in both OVMF and QEMU.  We plan for OVMF to expose this address via its GUIDed
+table and let QEMU discover it using ``pc_system_ovmf_table_find()``.
diff --git a/docs/confidential-guest-support.txt b/docs/confidential-guest-support.txt
index 71d07ba57a..bed1601fbb 100644
--- a/docs/confidential-guest-support.txt
+++ b/docs/confidential-guest-support.txt
@@ -47,3 +47,8 @@  s390x Protected Virtualization (PV)
 Other mechanisms may be supported in future.
+Live migration support
+Details regarding confidential guest live migration are in:
+    docs/confidential-guest-live-migration.rst
diff --git a/docs/index.rst b/docs/index.rst
index 5f7eaaa632..f2015de814 100644
--- a/docs/index.rst
+++ b/docs/index.rst
@@ -17,3 +17,4 @@  Welcome to QEMU's documentation!
+   confidential-guest-live-migration