Monthly Archives: March 2008

Xen Summit Boston 2008 Registration Live

The Xen Summit Boston 2008 registration site is live at The event is held over two days, June 23 – 24 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and a $75 discount is offered to anyone wishing to also attend the USENIX Annual Technical Conference. If you have any questions, please add them to the Comments below so I can answer for the community. I will also be putting out an email to the usual mailing lists.

Finally, the event costs $250 which is standard for previous Xen Summits and all monies collected will be used to cover costs of the room rental, audio/visual equipment, food, evening out on the 23rd, etc. In the past, students received discounts and I will continue that tradition. Please contact me directly if you are a student interested in attending.

Open Source Census Project

At OSBC 2008, I met with people who are running the Open Source Census Project which is an attempt to collect all the data on which open source technology is being used in the Enterprise. I think this is a great idea and that should make sure that we have the proper data in their tool to account for Xen hypervisor installations. You can read more on this project at and I am hoping that the community adds the proper information to their tool which can be found at If you work on this project, please add comments below so everyone knows the status.

As for timing, the project intends to start in April of 2008 so timing is critical that we add information for the Xen hypervisor.

Open Source Business Conference 2008 Update

I am back from the OSBC 2008 event in San Francisco and wanted to share my notes from the sessions I attended as well as some thoughts on the overall event. Feel free to add any comments on the material and I will answer your questions.

Notes from Day 1 and Day 2: infoworld-open-source-business-conference.pdf

Overall thoughts:

  • Dress – Wow, when did an open source event look like a meeting for lawyers and bankers with everyone in suits? This was the most “dressed-up” event I have been to since an event in Germany I was at a few years back. I guess open source must be real if everyone wears suits?
  • Is Open Source Business Model any different than Proprietary Software Business Model? More thoughts on this in another blog entry but I am beginning to think that there is less difference b/w the models than most people think
  • Microsoft – Brad Smith the SVP and General Counsel at MSFT came to talk about licensing issues b/w MSFT and the Open Source Community (See Notes) and I was impressed that he was willing to spend 90 minutes and take open questions on a variety of topics. It seems to me that MSFT has decided to only have discussions with “Cathedrals” and not “Bazaars” and that this decision is creating the fundamental problem with trying to solve a variety of legal and licensing issues.
  • Open Source Projects – the new companies in Open Source are doing an amazing job of building solutions by taking a variety of open source projects and bundling them into a solution for the enterprise; I do wonder if the emphasis on building solutions for CRM, databases, and other common technology areas is limiting. Open Source should be looking for new areas to innovate such as social networking products for the enterprise (see notes) rather than established computing areas.

Comments on Matt Asay’s blog posting ( about the event. He was the event chair.

Comments on the Microsoft presentation (

Amusing blog link (go back in time via arrows to read history) – did like the comment on the expensive breakfast but the direct link is on the MSFT pitch (

Great blog link to people who wonder why Microsoft sponsors open source events and if it has an impact: Bugzilla Tracking

Henning Sprang, Mark Williamson, and I discussed the issue of people reporting bugs in the Bugzilla system with no guarantee that anyone was watching or working on the Bugzilla system. Several companies working on the Xen hypervisor are leveraging Bugzilla to track and monitor issues but there is no existing process to ensure that bugs entered by users or developers are being worked on. We are proposing the following process as a possible solution and will start this process next week:

· I will monitor the mailing list daily to see what bugs are entered.

· I will filter out all “corporate” bugs that are being entered by companies working on the hypervisor and will follow-up with the bug creator of non “corporate” bugs to ensure that the data entered is complete for a developer to understand and reproduce the problem.

· Mark will do a review of the bug reported to ensure that it is in fact a system issue which needs developer attention

· I will send an email 1x per week to mailing list with all the bugs that are open for developer attention; the complete information on the bugs per week will be in the Wiki at 

· Any developer interested in working on a bug from the list can either update Bugzilla themselves or work with me to ensure that the fix is documented and the bug is closed when work is complete

If you have any additional comments, please feel free to add them to this discussion on as I have sent this information to that mailing list or in the comments below.

History of Xen – Architecture – Part 4

The final installment of the History of Xen – Architecture involves the ultimate question, where does the name “Xen” come from? It is clear that Xen comes from the XenoServer project at Cambridge which is the research that the Xen hypervisor emerged from. The name “Xeno” for the XenoServer project is specifically mentioned in the Controlling the XenoServer Open Platform (Nov 2002) as footnote1:

The name derives from the Greek word “”o&” (xenos), which means
foreign or unknown, much like the tasks that XenoServers accept and safely

So, the name Xen comes from XenoServer with a Greek origin; but who was the first person to claim the name “Xen”?  If anyone knows or wants to make the claim, here is your chance.