Category Archives: Events

Information about an industry or Xen Project-specific event

Xen Project Hackathon 16 : Event Report

We just wrapped another successful Xen Project Hackathon, which is an annual event, hosted by Xen Project member companies, typically at their corporate offices. This year’s event was hosted by ARM at their Cambridge HQ. 42 delegates descended on Cambridge from Aporeto, ARM, Assured Information Security, Automotive Electrical Systems, BAE Systems, Bromium, Citrix, GlobalLogic, OnApp, Onets, Oracle, StarLab, SUSE and Vates to attend. A big thank you (!) to ARM and in particular to Thomas Molgaard for organising the event and the social activities afterwards.

Here are a few images that helped capture the event:

Taking a breather and photo opp outside of ARM headquarters in Cambridge

Taking a breather and photo opp outside of ARM headquarters in Cambridge

Working on solving the mysteries of the world.

Working on solving the mysteries of the world

Continuing to work hard on solving the mysteries of the world

Continuing to work hard on solving the mysteries of the world

Xen Project Hackathons have evolved in format into a series of structured problem solving sessions that scale up to 50 people. We combine this with a more traditional hackathon approach where programmers (and others involved in software development) collaborate intensively on software projects.

This year’s event was particularly productive because all our core developers and the project’s leadership were present. We focused on a lot of topics, but two of our main themes this year evolved around security and community development. We’ll cover these topics in more detail and how they fit within our next release 4.7 and development going forward, but below is a little taste of some of the other themes of this year’s Hackathon sessions:

  • Security improvements: A trimmed down QEMU to reduce attack surface, de-privileging QEMU and the x86 emulator to reduce the impact of security vulnerabilities in those components, XSplice, KConfig support which allows to remove parts of Xen at compile time, run-time disablement of Xen features to reduce the attack surface, vulnerabilities, disaggregation and enabling XSM (Xen’s equivalent of the Linux Security Modules which are also known as SELinux) by default.
  • Security features: We had two sessions on the future of XSplice (first version to be released in Xen 4.7), which allows users of Xen to apply security fixes on a running Xen instance (aka no need to reboot).
  • Robustness: A session on restartable Dom0 and driver domains, which again will significantly reduce the overhead of applying security patches.
  • Community and code review: A couple of sessions on optimising our working practices: most notably some clarifications to the maintainer role and how we can make code reviews more efficient.
  • Virtualization Modes: The next stage of PVH, which combines the best of HVM and PV. We also had discussions around some functionality that is currently developed in Linux on which PVH has dependencies.
  • Making Development more Scalable: A number of sessions to improve the toolstack and libxl. We covered topics such as making storage support pluggable via a plug-in architecture, making it easier to develop new PV drivers to support automotive and embedded vendors, and improvements to our build system, testing, stub domains and xenstored.
  • ARM support: There were a number of planning sessions for Xen ARM support. We covered the future roadmap, how to implement PCI passthrough, and how we can improve testing for the increasing range of ARM HW with support for virtualization, also applicable outside the server space.

There were many more sessions covering performance, scalability and other topics. The session’s host(s) post meeting notes on xen-devel@ (search for Hackathon in the subject line), if you want to explore any topic in more detail. To make it easier for people who do not follow our development lists, we also posted links to Hackathon related xen-devel@ discussions on our wiki.

Besides providing an opportunity to meet face-to-face, build bridges and solve problems, we always make sure that we have social events. After all Hackathons should be fun and bring people together. This year we had a dinner in Cambridge and of course the obligatory punting trip, which is part of every Cambridge trip.

Embarking on the punting journey

Embarking on the punting journey

Continued exploration of discovering the mysteries of the universe, while on a boat

Continued exploration of discovering the mysteries of the universe, while on a boat

Again, a big thanks to ARM for hosting the event! Also, a reminder that we’ll be hosting our Xen Project Developer Summit next August in Toronto, Canada. This event will happen directly after LinuxCon North America and is a great opportunity to learn more about Xen Project development and what’s happening within the Linux Foundation ecosystem at large. CFPs are still open until May 6th!

Xen Project Starts the New Year with a Bang!

January Features Major Xen Project Activities at Two of the Biggest FOSS Conferences of the Year!

The Xen Project is starting 2016 on a high note by sponsoring major events at both the largest community-run FOSS conference in North America (SCALE) and the world (FOSDEM). In addition to a flurry of technical talks in the main program of each conference, Xen Project is organizing additional co-located events.

Unikernels and More: Cloud Innovators Forum (CIF16) Comes to Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE)

Xen Project is proud to announce the world’s most wide-ranging Unikernel user event ever held! We have a full day of talks which cover everything from the basics of Unikernels to building Unikernels to reworking the cloud to adapt to the realities of Unikernels. We have speakers from some of the biggest research companies (like IBM, NEC, and Ericsson) as well as some of the most leading edge organizations. Just take a look at the talk lineup:

To join us, simply register at the SCALE 14x website.

And all this is in addition to a couple Xen Project talks in the SCALE program itself:

Xen Project talks at FOSDEM

As in past years, the Xen Project will have a booth and demos at FOSDEM and is well represented at FOSDEM Devrooms.

To join us, simply attend FOSDEM (no registration required) and enjoy the talks.

Xen Project Test Day for 4.6 RC4 Scheduled for October 1

Our Fourth (and Possibly Final) 4.6 Release Candidate to be Tested This Thursday

TestDayOur Xen Project Test Days help insure that upcoming releases are ready for production, beyond what our automated testing through our Test Lab can accomplish. It is particularly important that our users test out the upcoming release in their own environment. We rely on your functional testing of features, stress-testing, edge case testing, and performance testing to prove that the code is ready for consumption. And this is your opportunity to verify that the new code will continue to work well in your particular situation.

Xen Project 4.6 Release Candidate 4 Testing

Continuing our current release cycle, the Test Day for Xen Project 4.6 RC4 has been set for Thursday, October 1, 2015.

This may be the final RC before release, so the time to test the software is now!

Test Day Information

Additrional information about Test Days can be found here:

Join us on Tuesday in #xentest on Freenode IRC!
Test a Release Candidate! Help others, get help! And have fun!

Our Next Test Day is September 15: Xen Project 4.6 RC3

The Third 4.6 Release Candidate to be Tested on Tuesday

TestDayOur Xen Project Test Days help insure that upcoming releases are ready for production, beyond what our automated testing through our Test Lab can accomplish. It is particularly important that our users test out the upcoming release in their own environment. We rely on your functional testing of features, stress-testing, edge case testing, and performance testing to prove that the code is ready for consumption. And this is your opportunity to verify that the new code will continue to work well in your particular situation.

Xen Project 4.6 Release Candidate 3 Testing

Continuing our current release cycle, the Test Day for Xen Project 4.6 RC3 has been set for Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

Additional Test Days are expected to be scheduled roughly ever other week until Xen Project 4.6 is ready for release.

Test Day Information

Additrional information about Test Days can be found here:

Join us on Tuesday in #xentest on Freenode IRC!
Test a Release Candidate! Help others, get help! And have fun!
If you can’t make Tuesday, remember that Test and Issue Reports are welcome any time.

Event Report: Xen Project Developer Summit 2015

This year’s Xen Project Developer Summit is over! We had two days packed with highly technical sessions that were attended by 120 delegates. Our sessions have – as always – been very interactive with lots of discussions during and after the talks. Of course we did also have lots of time for in-corridor conversations during breaks, which most of us look forward to every year.

XPDS15


Andrew Cooper from Citrix is giving an introduction of Migration v2 in Xen 4.6. Check out the PDF and video.

Session Recordings and Slides

Most of the slides are already available as PDFs on the event website. We will re-post the slides later on our slideshare channel and on the Xen Project Website.

Video recordings of the conference sessions are already posted on our youtube channel and will also be posted on the Xen Project Website. Check out some of my personal highlights:

Security: xSplice – Live Patching the Xen Hypervisor

by Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk, Oracle

Other security, robustness and QoS related talks that are worth checking out are

User Stories: Virtualizing the Locomotive: Ready, Set, Go!

by Mark Kraeling, GE Transportation
A great Xen and Virtualization user story showing how Xen and Virtualization is used in extreme circumstances.

Other user stories that are worth checking out are

Hardware Support: ARM Virtualization Extensions

by Marc Zyngier & Thomas Molgaard, ARM Ltd

You may also want to check out the following talks covering new hardware features on Xen:

Xen and OpenStack

by Stefano Stabellini, Citrix

You may also want to check out the following feature update talks:

For more recordings check out our youtube channel!

Joint KVM and Xen Hackathon and Social Event

The joint activities between Xen and KVM have also been a great success, bringing developers from both communities more closely together. In particular the joint social event was a great success. I overheard many constructive conversations among members of both communities. In some cases, members of both communities were competing with each other in the bowling alley and playing pool: who said that a little bit of friendly competition can’t be fun (-: We will work with the organisers of KVM Forum such that we can build on this cooperation next year.

2015 Xen Project Developer Summit Line-up Announced

I am pleased to announce the schedule for the Xen Project Developer Summit. The event will take place in Seattle on August 17-18, 2015.

The Xen Project Developer Summit brings together its community of developers and power users. Each year the event features the latest developments, best practices, collaboration, product roadmap updates and future planning from developers who are leading the way in server density, million-node data centers, automotive, mobile, graphic-intensive workloads, cloud and enterprise security.

For the first time, Xen Project Developer Summit and KVM Forum will co-host a Hackathon on Aug. 18 aimed at fostering technical collaboration between the two leading open source hypervisors in IT today. KVM and Xen users and developers will have the opportunity to collaborate and delve into work on libvirt code. A co-hosted evening event will be held that night.

Following is a sampling of confirmed speakers and presentations to be discussed in Seattle:

  • Dario Faggioli, senior software engineer, Citrix, and Meng Xu, PhD Student, University of Pennsylvania, will co-present the state of scheduling in Xen and the hypervisor provides a set of schedulers, each one suited for specific use cases.
  • Sainath Grandhi, Core OS engineer, Intel will present Xen containers to run Docker container applications sandboxed in a small VM as an alternative to bare-metal containers, providing tighter security and resource isolation.
  • Julien Grall, software engineer, Citrix, will target developers making a product based on Xen ARM requiring device assignment.
  • Juergen Gross, Linux kernel developer, SUSE, will outline suggestions for a systems architecture that is much more fault tolerant against hardware and software failures.
  • Manish Jaggi, Xen/KVM hypervisor technical lead, Cavium, will talk about Xen support for ThunderX, a family of highly integrated, multi-core SoC processors based on 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, for data center and cloud applications.
  • Liu Jinsong, PM and RAS maintainer, Alibaba, will introduce live migration at AliCloud, summarizing the technical virtualization, network, and storage problems that need to be solved to make live migration work at AliCloud.
  • Mark Kraeling, product manager, GE Transportation, will talk about virtualizing the locomotive and how GE uses about how GE uses Xen for x86-based processors, and KVM for ARM-based processors.
  • Tamas Lengyel, security researcher at Novetta, University of Connecticut PhD student, will shed more light on current trends in virtualization security, pitfalls and new features coming in 4.6.
  • Wei Liu, Xen 4.6 release manager, Citrix, will give a status report on the upcoming Xen Project 4.6 release.
    Stefano Stabellini, senior principle software engineer, Citrix, will explain how to deploy OpenStack using the Xen Project hypervisor to run your VMs.
  • Zhi Wang, engineer, Intel, will provide a detailed update on the evolution of Intel Graphics Virtualization Technology for full GPU virtualization.
  • Konrad Wilk, software director, Oracle, will discuss the design and functionality of xSplice, which offers a method for live patching without requiring a system to reboot.
  • Marc Zyngier, kernel hacker, ARM, will share a hypervisor agnostic view of virtualization extensions added to the latest ARM architecture.

Birds of a Feather session and Discussions

Besides presentations, the developer summit will also provide an opportunity for in-depth interactive discussions (Birds of a Feather sessions), which allow deep interaction and collaboration between Xen Project developers and community members. These will happen in a second track alongside part of the main event. To submit a BoF, please send an email to community dot manager at xenproject dot org and chose a BoF slot, title and short description or fill out this wiki page.

Registration

For more information about Xen Project Developer Summit 2015, including how to register and to view the complete schedule, visit: events.linuxfoundation.org/events/xen-project-developer-summit.