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Is anyone using Xen ?

Is anyone using Xen ?

Posted Jul 19, 2005 9:46 UTC (Tue) by copsewood (subscriber, #199)
Parent article: Kernel Summit 2005: Virtualization

I'm currently using User-Mode Linux as a general purpose server, hosted by Bytemark. I have also used UML experimentally. I am interested in using virtualisation technology to support student project work, so that students can learn by having root access to a machine which can be setup and destroyed on the fly, without this interfering with other uses of the physical host. User-mode Linux is currently easier to set up for this kind of purpose, but Xen promises much better performance, particularly when new silicon proposed by Intel and AMD becomes available, with specific support for virtualisation. Running a set of servers, e.g. apache, sendmail, mysql in different VMs offers better sandboxing, as a security failure in one VM should be less likely to result in knock-on security breaches elsewhere, as would occur in a conventional host running multiple software servers.

So I think Xen is likely to become a very significant development, for a number of reasons, and the sooner it has mainstream kernel support, the easier it will be for potential users to get started with it.


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Is anyone using Xen ?

Posted Jul 21, 2005 3:25 UTC (Thu) by Blaisorblade (guest, #25465) [Link]

> Xen promises much better performance, particularly when new silicon proposed by Intel and AMD becomes available, with specific support for virtualisation.

This is well-known, but I'd like to point out that even UML is going to take advantage of that new silicon, and even a lot more than Xen I think. There's a lot of ongoing work at Intel on this, and you can read about this on the 2005 Linux Symposium Proceedings, in the talk by Jeff Dike.

Is anyone using Xen ?

Posted Jul 29, 2005 14:59 UTC (Fri) by markwilliamson (guest, #26407) [Link]

VT / Pacifica combined with Xen is an interesting topic.

Vanilla Xen gives you near native performance in virtual machine
*already* - hardware extensions aren't going to provide any immediate
improvements for OSes that run natively on Xen (Linux, BSD, etc) because
you can't really do better than the unvirtualised performance.

The real benefit of hardware support for virtualisation in Xen's case is
that it will enable *unported* operating systems to run, and achieve
reasonable performance. The primary benefit will be the ability to run
Windows. You'll also be able to run old, unported versions of Linux on
Xen in order to migrate old servers completely onto Xen with no
configuration changes.


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