What is Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) and How to Enable it?

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Windows 8 will bring many new features to the Windows computing environment, including Hyper-V. To run Hyper-V, your processor must support Second Level Address Translation (SLAT). Read on to find out if your processor supports SLAT.

What is SLAT?

Second-level address translation is a technology introduced in the Intel and AMD versions of processors. Both companies call their version of the technology different names, Intel’s version is called EPT (Extended Page Tables) and AMD calls its RVI (Rapid Virtualization Indexing). Intel has introduced extended page tables into its processors based on the Nehalem architecture, while AMD has introduced RVI into the third generation of Opteron processors called Barcelona. Hyper-V uses it to perform more virtual machine memory management functions and reduce overhead costs when converting guests’ physical addresses into real physical addresses. This significantly reduces the hypervisor’s CPU time and saves more disk space for each virtual machine.

Virtualization is a core technology for many data centers, but the software layer introduced by a hypervisor imposes a computing effort that reduces the resources available for virtual machines (VMs). Physical computing resources must be presented to virtual machines as virtualized resources – it is the very essence of abstraction that isolates workloads from the underlying hardware. When extracted from SLAT, rather than through a standard search process, performance is improved because the memory address is stored on the processor. Latency is reduced and the system only goes through one memory search instead of two.

How can I check if the processor supports SLAT?

You can check the SLAT support of your processor by following these steps.

Step 1: Download Coreinfo.exe from this link, https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc835722

Step 2: Extract it to your C:\ drive.

Step 3: Open the command prompt with high permissions.

Step 4. Navigate to drive C:\.

Step 5: Execute the following command

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coreinfo.exe -v

If your processor supports SLAT, there must be an * in the EPT line.

How to activate SLAT from BIOS

To enable the SLAT function, simply enable virtualization in your BIOS.


Modern Processors

AMD has supported SLAT using Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) technology since the introduction of its third generation of Opteron processors (codenamed Barcelona). Intel’s implementation of SLAT, known as the Extended Page Table (EPT), has been introduced into the Nehalem microarchitecture of some Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 processors.


To run Docker for Windows, you need a second level of address translation because it is a Hyper-V request. This is actually a good thing because second-level address translation support offers better virtualization performance.


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