KVM steals virtualization spotlight (ZDNet)
Posted Feb 27, 2007 4:42 UTC (Tue) by danpb
Parent article: KVM steals virtualization spotlight (ZDNet)
> For example, the company is contemplating splitting the upcoming Fedora 7
> Linux for enthusiasts into two versions, one with Xen and the other with
> KVM, Stevens said. That's because the company likes Fedora to track the
> mainstream Linux kernel, which now includes KVM. However, Xen uses an
> earlier kernel that doesn't have KVM built in.
To be clear on this slightly misleading quote from the last page of the ZDNet article - the only thing that has split for Xen vs KVM is the kernel tree - not the Fedora distro itself - there are simply separate source RPMs for Xen kernel vs baremetal kernel (with kvm.ko). This kernel tree split is only neccessary because progress/updates of the bare metal kernels can't be held up by the time required to port Xen kernel patches to new LKML trees.
There is *no* need to have a hard split between Xen or KVM in any other part of the distro aside from kernel tree. When we first started seriously working to include Xen in Fedora / RHEL, we anticipated that other open source virtualization technologies may well arrive on the scene. To minimise the disruption this would cause to both system administrators & developers [of management tools], the libvirt (http://libvirt.org) project was started. This provides a generic management API for virtualization systems, with the per-hypervisor specific details hidden away in the internal backend drivers. So apps built on top of libvirt with the Xen driver, can be made to run on KVM or QEMU with very little (if any) porting effort.
Thus Fedora 7 will be able to provide users/admins/developers will a single toolset - virsh command line management tool, virt-install command line provisioning, and virt-manager graphical management / console - which can be used with Xen, QEMU or KVM. There is no need to frame the discussion as a black & white either/or choice of KVM or Xen - users of the distro choose either option as best fits their needs. The fast emergence of KVM as a viable contender, is a very nice example of open source innovation at its finest :-) There's nothing to fear from having a choice of open source virtualization systems. IMHO, rather than benefitting VMWare (as the article suggests) it will actually just increase pressure on them by cranking up the pace of development, thanks to the healthy competition between Xen & KVM.
Full disclosure: I'm a developer on libvirt & virt-manager, and on the Fedora virtualization team.
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