Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Computer Science

Advisor 1

Jean Mayo

Committee Member 1

Craig Einstein

Committee Member 2

Timothy Havens


Virtual machines are an integral part of today’s computing world. Their use is widespread and applicable in many different computing fields. With virtual machines, the ability to introspect and monitor is often overlooked or left unimplemented. Introspection is used to gather information about the state of virtual machines as they operate. Without introspection, verbose log data and state information is unavailable after unexpected errors or crashes occur. With introspection, this data can be analyzed further to determine the true cause of the unexpected crash or error. Therefore, introspection plays a critical role in portraying accurate historical information regarding the operating of a virtual machine.

The Virtual Machine Introspection Tool is a tool created for monitoring the Virtual Machine Platform. This tool is the main contribution of this project. Its goal is to accurately store and present historical state data regarding the Virtual Machine Platform. The tool seeks to provide an intuitive and easy to understand user interface that interprets and displays the stored historical state data. This tool interfaces directly with the structures of the Virtual Machine Platform, which are not accessible to other virtual machine monitoring tools and introspection frameworks. This exclusive access to the Virtual Machine Platform’s structures is the main motivation for the development of the Virtual Machine Introspection Tool.

This report gives an in depth analysis of the design and implementation of the Virtual Machine Introspection Tool. First, the importance of virtual machines and virtual machine introspection is introduced. Second, background information and common concepts are explained. Third, related work is discussed and compared to the Virtual Machine Introspection Tool. Fourth, the design and implementation of the tool is explored. Finally, future work and future potential additions are discussed regarding the Virtual Machine Introspection Tool.