Ballooning

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memory overcommit

A technique that increases the amount of memory available in a virtual machine environment. Two popular approaches are memory ballooning and kernel same-page merging.

Memory Ballooning
This method allocates unused memory (RAM) from one virtual machine (VM) to another. The term symbolizes an "inflated" balloon temporarily residing in the memory of the VM it was taken from, making that memory unavailable. When the use of that memory is returned to the VM, the balloon is "deflated."

Kernel Same-Page Merging (KSM)
When active memory pages with duplicate content are found, they are merged into one and marked read-only. If an application modifies a merged page, a copy-on-write (CoW) page is created. See copy-on-write and virtual machine.
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Ballooning

See also Aviation.
Balloon Hoax, The
1844 news story falsely reports that eight men have crossed the Atlantic in a balloon. [Am. Lit.: The Balloon Hoax in Poe]
Ferguson, Samuel
embarks with two others on air-borne journey over Africa. [Fr. Lit.: Five Weeks in a Balloon]
Wizard of Oz
reaches and departs from Oz in circus balloon. [Children’s Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.