Virtio, defined by the OASIS Standard, outlines a suite of virtualization devices. It establishes an architecture that paravirtualizes hardware devices, with the best explanation available here.

In practice, Virtio devices can be addressed and utilized just like actual hardware devices. Virtio serves as the standard Input/Output (IO) virtualization framework for the Linux KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) hypervisor. A hypervisor offers a management layer that enables the operation of multiple virtual machines on a single hardware unit. Virtio provides specifications for various device types, such as block storage and network devices, thereby eliminating the need to use different frameworks for different device types.

Moreover, Virtio is recognized for delivering superior performance as it belongs to a class of virtualization frameworks that employ paravirtualization techniques, presenting an edge over fully virtualized device abstractions.