Monthly Archives: March 2010

CfP with Extended Deadline 5th Workshop on Virtualization in High-Performance Cloud Computing (VHPC’10)

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CALL FOR PAPERS

5th Workshop on Virtualization in High-Performance Cloud Computing VHPC’10
as part of Euro-Par 2010, Island of Ischia-Naples, Italy
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Date: August 31, 2010

Euro-Par 2009: http://www.europar2010.org/

Workshop URL: http://vhpc.org

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:

Abstracts: April 4, 2010 (extended)
Full Paper: June 19, 2010 (extended)

Scope:

Virtualization has become a common abstraction layer in modern data centers, enabling resource owners to manage complex infrastructure independently of their applications. Conjointly virtualization is becoming a driving technology for a manifold of industry grade IT services. Piloted by the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud services, the cloud concept includes the notion of a separation between resource owners and users, adding services such as hosted application frameworks and queuing. Utilizing the same infrastructure, clouds carry significant potential for use in high-performance scientific computing. The ability of clouds to provide for requests and releases of vast computing resource dynamically and close to the marginal cost of providing the services is unprecedented in the history of scientific and commercial computing.

Distributed computing concepts that leverage federated resource access are popular within the grid community, but have not seen previously desired deployed levels so far. Also, many of the scientific datacenters have not adopted virtualization or cloud concepts yet.

This workshop aims to bring together industrial providers with the scientific community in order to foster discussion, collaboration and mutual exchange of knowledge and experience.

The workshop will be one day in length, composed of 20 min paper presentations, each followed by 10 min discussion sections.
Presentations may be accompanied by interactive demonstrations. It concludes with a 30 min panel discussion by presenters.

TOPICS

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following subjects:

– Virtualization in cloud, cluster and grid HPC environments
– VM cloud, cluster load distribution algorithms
– Cloud, cluster and grid filesystems
– QoS and and service level guarantees
– Cloud programming models, APIs and databases
– Software as a service (SaaS)
– Cloud provisioning
– Virtualized I/O
– VMMs and storage virtualization
– MPI, PVM on virtual machines
– High-performance network virtualization
– High-speed interconnects
– Hypervisor extensions
– Tools for cluster and grid computing
– Xen/other VMM cloud/cluster/grid tools
– Raw device access from VMs
– Cloud reliability, fault-tolerance, and security
– Cloud load balancing
– VMs – power efficiency
– Network architectures for VM-based environments
– VMMs/Hypervisors
– Hardware support for virtualization
– Fault tolerant VM environments
– Workload characterizations for VM-based environments
– Bottleneck management
– Metering
– VM-based cloud performance modeling
– Cloud security, access control and data integrity
– Performance management and tuning hosts and guest VMs
– VMM performance tuning on various load types
– Research and education use cases
– Cloud use cases
– Management of VM environments and clouds
– Deployment of VM-based environments

PAPER SUBMISSION

Papers submitted to the workshop will be reviewed by at least two members of the program committee and external reviewers. Submissions should include abstract, key words, the e-mail address of the corresponding author, and must not exceed 10 pages, including tables and figures at a main font size no smaller than 11 point. Submission of a paper should be regarded as a commitment that, should the paper be accepted, at least one of the authors will register and attend the conference to present the work.

Accepted papers will be published in the Springer LNCS series – the format must be according to the Springer LNCS Style. Initial submissions are in PDF, accepted papers will be requested to provided source files.

Format Guidelines: http://www.springer.de/comp/lncs/authors.html

Submission Link: http://edas.info/newPaper.php?c=8553

IMPORTANT DATES

April 4 – Abstract submission due (extended) May 19 – Full paper submission (extended) July 14 – Acceptance notification August 3 – Camera-ready version due August 31 – September 3 – conference

CHAIR

Michael Alexander (chair), scaledinfra technologies GmbH, Austria Gianluigi Zanetti (co-chair), CRS4, Italy

PROGRAM COMMITTEE

Padmashree Apparao, Intel Corp., USA
Volker Buege, University of Karlsruhe, Germany Roberto Canonico, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy Tommaso Cucinotta, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy Werner Fischer, Thomas Krenn AG, Germany William Gardner, University of Guelph, Canada Wolfgang Gentzsch, DEISA. Max Planck Gesellschaft, Germany Derek Groen, UVA, The Netherlands Marcus Hardt, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany Sverre Jarp, CERN, Switzerland Shantenu Jha, Louisiana State University, USA Xuxian Jiang, NC State, USA Kenji Kaneda, Google, Japan Yves Kemp, DESY Hamburg, Germany Ignacio Llorente, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain Naoya Maruyama, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan Jean-Marc Menaud, Ecole des Mines de Nantes, France Anastassios Nano, National Technical University of Athens, Greece Oliver Oberst, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany Jose Renato Santos, HP Labs, USA Borja Sotomayor, University of Chicago, USA Yoshio Turner, HP Labs, USA Kurt Tuschku, University of Vienna, Austria Lizhe Wang, Indiana University, USA Chao-Tung Yang, Tunghai University, Taiwan

DURATION: Workshop Duration is one day.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The workshop will be held as part of Euro-Par 2010, Island of Ischia-Naples, Italy.
Euro-Par 2010: http://www.europar2010.org/

Xen – Marketing – Xen Summit – Open Source

As the community manager for the open source Xen.org community, home of the Xen Hypervisor, I am often asked about competition from proprietary and open source hypervisors as well as questions about Xen’s viability as an open source community. Many people are seeing the rapid emergence of KVM from Red Hat as the golden child due to its architecture within Linux and the strong messaging from Red Hat. However, marketing aside, Xen.org continues to be the leading open source player in the virtualization market with the largest cloud providers choosing open source Xen as their hypervisor platform as well as some of the largest software companies on the planet shipping their virtualization solutions with the open source Xen hypervisor.

The focus of the Xen.org community is solely on technology, ensuring a leading-edge product with high performance, tight security, and cutting edge features. Xen is not exclusively marketed as a competitive solution but instead is the foundation for companies such as Oracle, Fujitsu, Citrix, etc in their virtualization solutions. Thus, many people don’t see a response from Xen.org to Red Hat or other competitors targeted messaging. It is our proven belief that superior technology from a diverse community of developers allows Xen to stand alone as the open source hypervisor of choice.

For technologists and developers interested in learning more about the open source Xen.org community and our technologies, I would like to invite you to attend our Xen Summit North America at AMD on April 28-29, 2010 in Sunnyvale, CA. Registration is $235 for the two day event and you can sign up at http://www.regonline.com/xen_summit_amd.

Simon Crosby on Open Source, Interoperability, and Compatibility

From Simon’s blog post at http://community.citrix.com/display/ocb/2010/03/29/Open+Source+does+not+mean+Interoperable+or+Compatible

Derrick Harris at GigaOm has written an interesting, and unfortunately confusing piece which illustrates the frequent confusion between openness, interoperability and compatibility. His thesis is that the open source nature of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and cloud management software such as Eucalyptus is a powerful change for the better, because the openness is essentially standardization of a kind, and with standardization comes interoperability, compatibility, portability and therefore lower costs.

He’s unfortunately wrong. They are excellent technologies, but their open source nature does not in itself deliver on the values of compatibility, interoperability and portability.

Open Source is without doubt the most productive way for a community of individuals and organizations to collaborate on a common code base / feature set. The benefits of the approach to all participants is huge, and the innovative forces that one can muster to work on common technology components are in my view more powerful than one can find in any one organization. The Xen community, for example, has outpaced the rate of development, feature for feature, of any proprietary hypervisor platform. The rate of innovation by the KVM community is similarly superb, and the Linux community continues to lead in OS development. Open Source is good because it fosters collaboration and innovation, and because it commoditizes components of the IT stack that the participants in a community agree should be commoditized, and moves the industry forward at an accelerated pace.

But Open Source Software in does not necessarily deliver on the general desire of the user/customer base for interoperability, compatibility or portability between different vendor offerings. While there are obvious ways (for example) in which say RHEL is interoperable with Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) (or Windows), such as the ability to communicate using TCP/IP, in general it is not possible to move an application between any of those OSes, and expect it to work, or expect the OS vendor to support that. Compatibility at the Application layer (the Application Binary Interface) is not supported, and so portability of apps between different Linux distros is not supported. (Note that I’m not saying you can’t get it to work: you can, but it might require losing the support of your OS vendor, recompiling the app if you have source, or using an experimental compatibility layer.) Each distro commits to ABI stability for its product, for a period of time (for example 7 years in the case of Red Hat), but it is in general not possible for them to commit to interoperability with another vendor’s product. Nor indeed is it in their commercial interest to do so.

Historically, the Linux community has had justifiable objections to requirements for compatibility and portibility, because it would force the community to work to ABIs and not with the source. For example, the community is opposed to supporting an ABI for device drivers, as you can see from this nugget from an interview with Linus Torvalds:

“Well, the lack of an ABI is two-fold: one is we really, really, really don’t want one. Every single time people ask for a stable ABI, the main reason for wanting a stable ABI is they want to have their binary drivers and they don’t want to give out source and they don’t – certainly don’t want to merge that source into the stable kernel or the standard kernel.

And that, in turn, means that all the people who actually do all the kernel work and maintain the kernel are basically unable to work with that piece of hardware and that vendor because if there’s any bugs whatsoever, we can’t fix them. So, all the commercial vendors—even the ones who used to accept binary drivers—have moved or are moving away from wanting to have anything at all to do with binary drivers because they’re completely unmaintainable.

So, there’s one of the reasons. Some people see it as political. There is probably a political aspect to it, but a lot of it is very pragmatic; we just can’t maintain it.”

In the case of Virtual Machine (VM) compatibility and portability, the Linux community has invented an ingenious plug-in API that allows different hypervisors to plug into Linux and offer a consistent set of services to Linux as a guest. This is generally referred to as paravirt_ops, and it arose out of the necessity to support optimized Linux virtualization on Xen, VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V. This allows a Linux guest binary to move between hypervisors without recompilation, which is a powerful concept. But this effort has been complicated by the additional need to support interoperability via the file-format used to store VMs, which still differs between the major vendors: Oracle VM uses raw images, and XenServer uses Microsoft VHD files or “LUN per Virtual Disk Image” format, and VMware VMDK format via a plugin.

But paravirt_ops does nothing to help interoperability or portability of non-Linux guests between hypervisors: A Windows VM on KVM can’t directly move to Hyper-V without brain surgery via a V2V. Indeed the open source community has not committed to a standard virtual hardware layer for VMs. Why? Well, the clue comes from the specific word most commonly associated with interoperability and portability: standard.

  1. First, the community reserves the right to innovate ahead of any standard, breaking it if need be. Let’s call this “Features Lead”.
  2. Second, the availability of source code is loophole in the notion of a “standard”: a vendor could subtly modify the code to ensure that customers would have difficulty moving off its product to that of a competitor. The open source vendors indeed rely on this notion of potential incompatibility to build their businesses. Red Hat needs customers to stick to RHEL, so if you quite literally take the (GPL mandated) code of the RHEL distro, recompile it and ask them to support it, they will refuse to do so because they only support their shipped products. Not unreasonable at all, but also far from interoperable, compatible and portable.

So what of interoperability, compatibility and portability in the context of open source and cloud computing?

  1. First, it is crucial to view something like Amazon Web Services as a product (a distribution, that it runs itself) built from open source, but with one key distinction by comparison with say RHEL. Whereas Red Hat is obliged by the GPL to provide the source to its products, Amazon is not under any obligation to offer its changes back to the community. It may do so, for reasons of expediency, but does not have to. AWS is proprietary software, built from open source, but extended as needed by Amazon.
  2. Could you move a workload from an enterprise implementation of Eucalyptus managing Red Hat’s KVM to EC2? No, not directly. Red Hat does not guarantee interoperability of VMs between RHEL or RHEV KVM and any other hypervisor, so the AWS Xen implementation would not be supported. Similarly, those VMs would fail to directly port to ESX or Hyper-V.
  3. So, how about the management layer? Could a Eucalyptus based enterprise cloud interoperate with AWS? Maybe. Though Eucalyptus aims to continually update its APIs to reflect those of Amazon Web Services, there is no guarantee in practice that this can be achieved, and in general Eucalyptus cannot hope to offer all API services from AWS simply because it is not AWS. The Amazon folk that I’ve spoken to are not opposed to standardization of APIs at all, but they don’t believe that they know enough to develop a standard yet – they need to continually refine the APIs to ensure that they can offer a rich set cloud features via their API (and let’s be clear, it is their API and not a standard) to their customers. Similarly any other cloud that uses Eucalyptus as its front-end interface could merely hope to be compatible with AWS at any time.

It is worth pointing out that Eucalyptus itself has no view as to the VM layer compatibility, and while Eucalyptus could conceivably be used to manage a set of ESX Servers, those VMs would not be directly portable to a Eucalyptus managed Red Hat stack in the enterprise.

The bottom line is that open source and the community deliver innovation but not standardization. The notion of standardization (and hence compatibility, portability and interoperability at some particular interface) requires an additional party: A dominant vendor (one could argue Red Hat is one in Linux, or AWS for cloud) or a powerful brand (the Xen project mandates that the use of the Xen brand signifies by the user that it will faithfully implement and support interoperability at the Xen virtual hardware layer and the Xen management API).

At the end of the day, customers should not confuse “open source” with notions that require either an external agency (standard) or multi-vendor relationships (compatibility, portability, interoperability). Various open source efforts are committed to these notions: the Xen project commits to interoperability between all hypervisors, and not only various Xen implementations, and the Linux ABI enables increased compatibility & portability between Linux and other operating systems, but ultimately commitments to compatibility, portability and interoperability rest on vendor commitments and not simply openness

HXEN Project on Xen.org

The Hosted Xen project (HXEN) in Xen.org is currently looking for new developers to take part in future efforts such as the Linux port. The source and binaries for the Windows and Mac OSX version are currently available and are working fine for many users. I have spoken to the two developers who worked on the existing HXEN implementations but have now moved on to other work and thus HXEN is looking for new developers to join the fun.

Here are some possible areas of work:

  • Linux Port of HXEN
  • Update MacOSX to latest operating system release
  • Update Windows to latest operating system release
  • GUI Install

If you are interested in working on HXEN, please contact me over the next few weeks as I will gather the interested developers for a kick-off event (email, meeting, ?) where we can get HXEN development under way in an optimized manner.

Xen Summit North America Announces Bernard Golden as Day 2 Keynote

I am pleased to announce that Bernard Golden has agreed to present his views on open source cloud computing and virtualization as the Day 2 keynote for Xen Summit North America at AMD.  Bernard is the current CEO of HyperStratus, a leading virtualization cloud computing consultancy, the Virtualization and Cloud Computing Advisor for CIO Magazine, and  the author of Virtualization for Dummies, the best-selling book on the subject ever published. Bernard is often found speaking at global events such as CloudConnect, CloudWorld, Interop, and Cloud Computing World Forum.

In addition to Bernard, the Xen Summit agenda is taking shape with speakers from AMD, VALinux, Intel, Avaya, Cisco, Citrix, Arizona University, University of  California San Diego, Oracle, and others. This 2-day event on April 28-29, 2010 at AMD’s HQ in Sunnyvale, CA is an in-depth technical overview of Xen.org’s virtualization technology. To register for Xen Summit, please go to http://www.regonline.com/xen_summit_amd.