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[Xen-users] loop versus tap?

I noticed a vast improvement in stability and performance
when I replaced file: disk definitions with tap:aio:
in my virtual machines.

I think file: uses the /dev/loopN mechanism (right?).

Out of curiosity, could whatever underlying mechanism
(I have no idea what it is) that implements tap:aio
take the place of other uses of /dev/loopN on linux?

(Things like mounting a filesystem from an iso image
for instance).

Like I said, just idle curiosity...

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