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Xen: finishing the job

Xen: finishing the job

Posted Mar 4, 2009 17:38 UTC (Wed) by kev009 (subscriber, #43906)
Parent article: Xen: finishing the job

Xen is much faster in my experience because everything has been paravirtualized since the beginning. KVM devs realized that Intel's hardware virt wasn't all it was cracked up to be and now it too runs in hybrid mode when possible.

Xen is proven, stable, and it works on a lot of hardware that KVM doesn't. It is used by companies like and Slicehost with great success. Having the latest Dom0 kernel would be a boon to usage and latest kernel features/hw support.

KVM is great, especially for desktops, but ATM Xen is widely used on servers and shows no sign of reduction. Please merge!

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Xen: finishing the job

Posted Mar 4, 2009 18:03 UTC (Wed) by amit (subscriber, #1274) [Link]

Xen debuted in 2003 and KVM in 2007. Xen has had a longer time in the market and hence will have a better market share. However, KVM has caught up fast and there are a few companies already using it in production. Of course, Qumranet were one (it's not Red Hat). A quick search throws these two results:

Red Hat has revealed its virtualisation strategy based on KVM:

That goes a long way into saying the kind of efforts that will be put into kvm to make it as stable as possible for deploying into enterprises.

Fedora and Ubuntu already support KVM as the default hypervisor now.

That said, however, it's best to merge the Xen code upstream since having it out of tree while there are users out there doesn't seem like a good idea. One of the reasons distros quickly had to move to kvm as the default is because of the pain in maintaining out-of-tree patches and also maintaining different kernel versions just for Xen dom0 support.

Xen: finishing the job

Posted Mar 4, 2009 18:06 UTC (Wed) by amit (subscriber, #1274) [Link]

typo: I meant Qumranet is *now* Red Hat.

Xen: finishing the job

Posted Mar 4, 2009 18:33 UTC (Wed) by bgilbert (✭ supporter ✭, #4738) [Link]

Proven and stable? You must be using a different Xen than I have. In my experience, getting Xen to work reliably on a given system is an incredible amount of work, when it's possible at all. And it mostly involves blind tinkering, since there's often no indication of how or why things are breaking.

Xen: finishing the job

Posted Mar 4, 2009 20:48 UTC (Wed) by kev009 (subscriber, #43906) [Link]

Try RHEL or CentOS. Even better with Xen 3.3.1 from Google my username and xen for details.

I am using this a production rack across a few 1st gen Opterons and it is fantastic. As an aside, VMWare wont do 64bit guests on these CPUs but Xen will.

Xen: finishing the job

Posted Mar 5, 2009 8:27 UTC (Thu) by leighbb (subscriber, #1205) [Link]

I have been using Xen under Debian for a few years now (has it been that long?) and in my experience is is both straightforward to setup and rock solid.

In the early days I was using unofficial packages, but since Etch everything worked "out of the box". I have just upgraded to Lenny and so far (touch wood) it remains as robust as ever.

I have a nice 8GB dual-CPU Opteron server running 64-bit dom0 and domU's. This box does not support hardware virtualisation, so from my point of view Xen is the only option to get near-native speed and 64-bit guests.

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