Monthly Archives: April 2013

Leveraging CentOS and Xen for the GoDaddy private cloud

Mike Dorman Mike Dorman will be talking about Leveraging CentOS and Xen for the GoDaddy private cloud: How we collaborated with the CentOS and Xen projects to build a next-generation platform at GoDaddy. Discussion of the design considerations, infrastructure, success stories and challenges of this paradigm change at the next CentOS Dojo taking place in Phoenix, AZ, USA on the 10th of May 2013.

In this session Mike is going to cover the challenges and how CentOS + Xen fits into the role with a product / infrastructure standpoint. Starting with roots of how GoDaddy got started with XenServer and then how they were able to leverage the open source Xen stack on CentOS moving forward to their next-gen cloud.

Mike has been a key person involved with this project and brings across a well rounded, comprehensive and tested viewpoint on the subject. What to hear his talk ? Register now for the CentOS Dojo.

The CentOS Dojo format promotes informal sessions, focused around real world challenges that people using CentOS in established roles face. This includes technologies, concepts, best-practices and q&a around the CentOS Linux platform. These Dojos are run as not-for-profit, with all ticket sales revenue being cycled into costs at the event.

We hope to see you there!

Xen 4.1.5 & 4.2.2, Xen Document and Xen 4.3 Test Days

Xen 4.1.5 and 4.2.2 Releases

We are pleased to announce the release of the Xen 4.1.5 and 4.2.2 maintenance releases. These are immediately available from their respective Git repositories and from the Xen Project download pages

Both maintenance releases contain fixes for critical security vulnerabilities and many bug fixes and improvements (about 50 in Xen 4.1.5 and 100 in Xen 4.2.2). For more details check the Xen Project download pages. Xen releases are source releases: you can find build instructions on the Xen Project Wiki. Linux and BSD distros tend to supply updated versions of Xen with a delay based on their release cycle.

The next Xen Document Day is on Monday April 29th

Also just a quick reminder that next Monday is a Xen Document Day. Document Days are for people who care about Xen Documentation and want to improve it. Everybody who can and wants contribute is welcome to join! For a list of items that need work, check out the community maintained TODO and wishlist. We also have a few beginners items in the list. Of course, you can work on anything you like: the list just provides suggestions.

See you on IRC : #xendocs @ freenode !

Xen 4.3 Test Days

You may have seen that Xen 4.3 is now in code freeze and that we are starting to produce release candidates. Continue reading

Xen 4.3 update: Code Freeze started

Just a quick update — we have passed the feature freeze, and are now beginning the code freeze, in our schedule to get Xen 4.3 out by mid-June. Is say “beginning the code freeze” because it is still possible to get new code in for a short time now; but each case requires an explicit exception. I’ve posted a more detailed description on the xen-devel mailing list.

As a reminder, we are planning on a 9-month release cycle. Based on that, below are
our estimated dates:

  • Feature freeze: 25 March 2013
  • Code freezing point: 15 April 2013< == We are here
  • First RC: 6 May 2013
  • Release: 17 June 2013

If you are an early adopter, please begin testing functionality that you care about and reporting bugs!

Upcoming Changes to the Xen Websites

The move of the Xen Project from Citrix to a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project will have a number of implications for Xen Websites, which will be fully implemented in the coming weeks.

  • For trademark reasons all xen.org sites will be migrated to the xenproject.org domain in the coming weeks. This will require care and be executed over a period of several weeks. At the moment, xenproject.org and xen.org are aliased.
  • Each site such as the wiki, blog, mailing lists, code repos, etc. will get a new header that includes a global navigation bar. In some cases we will create a skin or theme that matches the overall look and feel of the new Xen Project site. However, we felt it was to risky to make too many changes at once.
  • We have a new Xen Project community website at xenproject.org, with most of the content of the old site migrated and exciting new functionality. Normally we would have developed this site in collaboration with the community, but it was already clear a few months ago that we would launch the new website in sync with moving to the Linux Foundation and content on the new site would have been a give-away of what was going to come. As you had no chance to give feedback, we are treating the new site as a beta.

Continue reading

Xen is now a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project

Almost a year ago, I floated the idea within Citrix of finding a non-profit home for the Xen Project. At this point, I had worked for and with the Xen community for just over a year. We only just implemented community-led Governance and it was clear that at some point Xen would need to become a truly vendor neutral project. You cannot imagine how pleased I was, when almost immediately I got full support from Citrix management to pursue the idea of finding a vendor-neutral home for Xen. We looked at various options and it quickly became clear that The Linux Foundation was the most natural fit for the Xen Project. And then the hard work to pull everything together started … but this is a story for some other time. The good news is that as of today, The Xen Project is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project with an impressive Advisory Board consisting of companies that will contribute to, fund and guide the non-technical aspects of the Xen Project.

An increase in Diversity

Let’s have a quick recap of Xen Governance Evolution: in early 2011, the developer community largely operated through a set of unwritten rules. This made it hard to join the community. In retrospect this had actually stopped vendors from contributing and was the reason why some early contributors abandoned Xen. Since then, we defined our governance model formalizing values, roles, decision making, the project life-cycle and other areas. Ownership and responsibilities of tasks have been distributed to community members. We also created a forum for distinguished community members (individuals as well as vendors contributing to the project) through the Xen Maintainer, Committer and Developer Meetings, which have evolved into a Project Management Committee (even though we don’t call it a PMC). Also, we have a better approach to planning and generating a Xen Roadmap, a well-defined Security Vulnerability Process and other community initiatives. The effect all this had is that the contributor community grew from 6 organizations contributing more than 1% to the code in 2010 to 13 organizations in 2012. The next logical step for Xen was to become a truly independent open source project, and this has now happened.

Bringing Users and Developers Together

One thing I am really pleased with is the diverse list of companies that joined the Xen Advisory Board to support the project financially.

  • Hardware and Silicon vendors such as AMD, Calxeda, Cisco, Intel and Samsung.
  • Companies that use Xen in software products such as Bromium, Citrix and Oracle.
  • Large scale users of Xen, such as Amazon, CA, Google and Verizon Terremark.

This is a good and healthy mix. Because of Xen’s roots as a University project, it was an almost exclusively developer-focused community. Some even complained that the project didn’t care a lot about its users. But for open source projects to succeed, tending and growing your user base is essential. In the last two years, the community started a program of change and has engaged its user base much more. Having good user representation on the Xen Advisory Board should help foster and accelerate this change. The icing on the cake is the new xenproject.org site (which we are launching as beta today) is designed to be a site for the entire community: bringing users, developers as well as companies together.

More Collaboration

For the Xen 4.3 release we have already seen an increased amount of collaboration and up-front planning on issues such as performance and scalability improvements, new features such as PVH and Xen ARM support for ARM based servers, UEFI secure boot, working with upstream projects such as Linux and QEMU, downstream Linux and BSD distros and cloud orchestration stacks. Embedding Xen into the Linux family as a Linux Foundation Collaborative project should lead to more such collaboration as part of the wider Linux and open source community. Of course this will not happen by itself: one of my personal priorities for the rest of this year is that more collaboration happens.

What is going to change?

If you are a Xen User or Developer pretty much nothing initially. Everything will continue to run as it always has. In the longer run, I am confident that the Xen Collaborative Project will lead to more code contributions, better integration with Linux distributions, increased adoption of Xen, more integration with other projects, better marketing and a lot more. All the changes should be positive.

There will be some short-term changes though that will affect you: xen.org will move to xenproject.org, the Xen Logo is changing and we have a new Xen Community website at xenproject.org (which means the old site will be archived). More information can be found at this FAQ.

Impressions of the CentOS Dojo Antwerp 2013

Yesterday was the CentOS Dojo Antwerp 2013, where I delivered a talk about tuning Xen for better performance.

The event was very interesting, lots of talks specially oriented at system administrators, so the Xen.org team didn’t want to miss this great opportunity to speak about Xen, especially considering that, not long ago, the first packages of Xen for CentOS 6 were announced at FOSDEM. More info about the event can be found at the CentOS Dojo wiki page.