Category Archives: Events

Information about an industry or Xen Project-specific event

A Tale of Two Amazing Open Source Hypervisors

Born in the logic of ones and zeroes and forged in the heat of battle, two hypervisors–sworn foes in the realm of virtualization–are about to unite in a way many never thought possible. Over beer and code.

Join the teams behind Xen Project Developer Summit and KVM Forum in Seattle as they co-host a social event that will rock the virtualization world. On August 18, 2015, at the close of the Xen Project Developer Summit and on the eve of KVM Forum, attendees of both events can come together and collaborate in the best way possible: with crudites and hors d’oeuvres (and beer).

Virtualization is one of the most important technologies in IT today, so it makes perfect sense for the two best hypervisor projects to collaborate and socialize at an event that celebrates their similarities and bridges that gap between all things KVM and Xen.

virtlogos

The party will get started Tuesday, August 18, at a time and location to be announced shortly! Attendees of both conferences are welcome to come and join the fun and be reminded of what open source is all about.

And before raising a pint to toast to friends both old and new, there’ll be an opportunity for some serious coding. So, if you’re a KVM contributor, a Xen zealot, or a power user of XenServer or oVirt, the joint KVM Forum and Xen Project Developer Summit Hackaton is the place to be during daylight hours.

The hackathon will be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, in the Virginia Room, 4th Floor, Union St. Tower of the Sheraton Seattle from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Aiming to foster technical collaboration between the two best hypervisors in IT today, the event will enable participants to learn more about what makes each project work, as well as to delve into work on libvirt code that could bridge the gaps between Xen and KVM. Bring your laptops, your ideas, and your code and help improve open source virtualization for the good of both projects. Collaboration is what makes open source truly great, so come be a part of greatness.

Finally, we all know greatness is nothing to be shy about, so we encourage Xen ecosystem developers, contributors and users to submit a speaking proposal for Xen Project Developer Summit.  The CFP is open through May 1. The topics of discussion are nearly endless — from scaling and optimizations, nested virtualization, performance enhancements, and hardening and security to high availability and continuous backup desktop virtualization, new devices, boards and architectures and more. Presenting at #xendevsummit is the excellent way to share your knowledge of all things Xen and help define and plan for the future of Xen. If you’re still looking for inspiration, check out last year’s slides and topics. Register soon to benefit from early bird pricing. See you in Seattle!

Xen Project Now an Easy Option in OpenStack

Recent Changes Let Xen Project Work Out of the Box in OpenStack

Members of the Xen Project development team have always believed that the hypervisor must be available for integration into other Open Source projects.  In particular, the initiators of the Xen Project envisioned the day when compute resources would be available in a dynamic form, which has since been codified in the technology we now call Cloud Computing.

However, most members of the project team have usually left the details of integration into other projects to those interested individuals who were participating in those other projects.  In the case of OpenStack, however, it became apparent that the Xen Project team would need to be engaged to make the integration as transparent as it should be.

Improvements to Libvirt

Xen Project has always supported the libvirt toolset, but in recent years, the quality of integration into libvirt has suffered.  As libvirt has become a key cross-platform integration technology in recent years, this deficiency became problematic with OpenStack and other projects which rely on libvirt.

But over the past year, Jim Fehlig has led the charge to bring Xen Project support in libvirt up to par.  In addition, the interface had to be re-engineered to use the libxenlight library which has become the predominant interface for Xen Project in the past few releases.  The needed improvements have made integration into OpenStack reasonable.  But that was only the beginning of the battle.

OpenStack Involvement and Improvements

Even with greatly improved libvirt support, OpenStack itself had to use the interface in a way which made sense with the Xen Project Hypervisor.  The existing integration logic within OpenStack was good, but it needed a couple of patches to make basic functions work correctly.  Anthony Perard stepped in and produced the needed patches which have recently been accepted into OpenStack.

This marks the beginning of an increasing involvement of Xen Project within the OpenStack community.  In addition to committing to make the hypervisor work well within OpenStack, the Xen Project team has begun making plans to eventually raise the hypervisor from Group C support in OpenStack to Group A.  Also, Xen Project developers will be examining ways to help make the hypervisor even more usable in OpenStack in the future.

Greatly Improved Documentation

If you looked for OpenStack integration information on the Xen Project Wiki just 6 months ago, you would have found absolutely nothing dealing with integration via libvirt.  Now, however, you can find information on integrating the hypervisor with OpenStack, a HowTo on building a Xen Project-based Ubuntu OpenStack, instructions on installing DevStack, and more.

Presentations at FOSDEM and openSUSE Mini-Summit, plus a Video Demo

Attendees of this year’s FOSDEM’15 had the opportunity to hear Stefano Stabellini talk about using the Xen Project Hypervisor in OpenStack.  They also had the opportunity to see Anthony Perard’s demonstration of building a functional Xen Project-based DevStack in under 15 minutes, which eventually birthed this HowTo video:

This was followed by a presentation at the openSUSE Mini-Summit at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 13x) given by Peter Linnell of SUSE and Russell Pavlicek.  This presentation discussed how the Xen Project Hypervisor works out-of-the-box with the SUSE OpenStack Cloud.

What Comes Next?

To move the Xen Project Hypervisor to Group B or A in OpenStack, we need a fully functional testbed which can run the required tests every time the OpenStack software is improved.  Our team is already hard at work constructing this testbed so our hypervisor can be promoted to a higher support group.

We may have improved Xen Project’s documentation around OpenStack, but we also need to raise the quality of documentation within the OpenStack itself.  For example, if you look at OpenStack’s Xen Project via Libvirt wiki page, it is (as of this writing) empty.  We need proper documentation to reflect the libvirt integration which is currently used by a variety of OpenStack implementations, both in the OpenStack wiki and in its formal documentation.

Watch our blog for more advances as they happen!

Intel hosts Xen Project Hackathon, April 28-29 in Shanghai

I am pleased to announce the next Xen Project Hackathon to be held this spring.  Although we call it a Hackathon, the event consists of several parallel sessions in which Xen Project developers will create, discuss and review designs and changes that impact Xen’s architecture. We’ll perform code reviews, discuss our future roadmap, work on improving the development process, tackle debug problems in the code base and cover other development related topics. Sessions are very interactive: typically there are no presentations.

Intel-logoThe Hackathon will be hosted by Intel at their Shanghai Zizhu Campus, April 28-29. I wanted to thank Susie Li and Mei Yu from Intel for hosting the Hackathon. Intel has been one of the core contributors to the Xen Project since 2003 and has been contributing many features to the Project. Intel joined the Xen Project Advisory Board in 2013 when the software became a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. We recently interviewed Donald Dugger, Intel’s Virtualization Architect, to find out why Intel continues to support, contribute and invest in the Xen Project.

What to expect at a Xen Project Hackathon?

The aim of the Hackathon is to give developers the opportunity to meet face-to-face to discuss development, coordinate, write code and collaborate with other developers. Of course, the event will allow everyone to meet in-person and build relationships; to facilitate this, we will have a social event on the evening of the 28th. We will cover many hot topics such as the latest Xen Project Hypervisor 4.6 features, planning for the next Xen Project Hypervisor release, Cloud Integration, Cloud Operating Systems, MirageOS, as well as new opportunities in embedded, mobile, automotive and NFV. But at the end of the day, the community chooses what topics will be covered.

To ensure that the event runs efficiently, each day is divided into several segments. We will have a number of work areas that are labelled with numbers (or other unique identifiers). Each morning will start with a plenary and scheduling session. Every attendee can propose a session, which we will map against a work area and time-slot. This makes it easy for other attendees to participate in projects and sessions they care about. Of course we also encourage attendees to highlight projects they plan to share before the event by adding them to our wiki.

How to Register

Spaces for the Xen Project Hackathon are limited (we can accommodate 50 people). Be sure to request an invitation to the event before our cut-off registration date of April 12th, 2015.

More Information

Catch Xen Project Talks at SCALE 13X, openSUSE Mini-Summit, & LF Collaboration Summit This Week

California Gets Four Opportunities in Four Days at Three Conferences to Hear About Xen Project

February 19-22, 2015 has an assortment of great Xen Project talks.

Folks in Santa Rosa, CA at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit have two great talks:

LFCollab

Meanwhile, attendees of SCALE 13X and the co-located openSUSE Mini-Summit in Los Angeles, CA have another great pair of talks available:
SCALE

If you can make it to California this coming week, there is a lot of Xen Project knowledge to absorb!

Xen Project @ FOSDEM

Going to FOSDEM’15? Well, you want to check out the schedule of the Virtualization & IaaS devroom then, and make sure you do not miss the talks about Xen.

Here they are the talks, in some more details:

Last but certainly not least, there will be a Xen-Project booth, where you can meet members of the Xen community as well as enjoying some demos.

The booth will be in building K, on level 1.

We also have a handy guide available, that you may want to print out before going to the event.

CES 2015: Smart Cars are the New Smart Phone

This is a reprint of the following Linux.com article by Alex Agizim, VP, CTO Embedded Systems at GlobalLogic

“Smart car” technology had a huge presence at CES 2015, from BMW’s 360-degree collision avoidance and parking assist features to Audi’s Human Machine Interface (HMI) that connects to an iPhone or Android device. And with both Apple and Google jumping into the market with their CarPlay and Android Auto IVI systems, the automotive industry is on the brink of some significant changes.

For example, thanks to new developments in open source virtualization, OEMs and car manufacturers are closer than ever to achieving a secure, flexible, robust, and customizable integrated cockpit — one that keeps drivers safe while meeting consumers’ connected car expectations. Already well-known for providing security, stability, and isolation in the datacenter, automotive virtualization is gaining wider attention due to additional hardening and new support for ARM.

While this is certainly exciting, virtualization remains a roadblock to some in the smart car industry. I personally had the opportunity to demonstrate GlobalLogic’s Nautilus platform for automotive virtualization at GENIVI’s CES demo and networking event. Leveraging a TI J6 SoC, I demo’d a dual-screen virtual cockpit with one screen emulating a Linux-powered driver information display, and the other screen emulating an Android-powered IVI system. The entire configuration ran on Xen Project Hypervisor 4.5 with three domains: Dom0 (thin control), DomU (Linux), and DomU (Android).

During the demo, I showcased how Nautilus achieves an overall system boot time of 8 seconds, an early RVC of 1.5 seconds, and secure and reliable peripheral sharing (including GPUs). Most importantly, I demonstrated how even if the Android virtual machine crashes, it has absolutely no influence on the mission-critical Linux virtual machine. With Nautilus automotive software, developers can host a number of VMs that are completely sandboxed from each other, thereby ensuring that all vehicle services will continue to operate even if one specific component fails.


The demo was well-received by GENIVI’s attendees, and I got the impression that many Tier 1 OEMs were thinking about using virtualization in their next-gen platforms. This is a huge milestone because, up until very recently, virtualization had a bad rep in the automotive industry. Previous attempts at virtualization using ARM A9 architecture ultimately failed because there was no hardware support for it. Many were also highly reluctant to use open source technology because it lacked proper compliance to strict auto industry regulations. But with platforms like Nautilus, developers can leverage cutting-edge open source technology that is ISO 26262 certification ready to create secure and reliable automotive virtualization experiences.

In fact, GlobalLogic’s goal is to make Nautilus part of the reference Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) software, an open source project that is developing a common, Linux-based software stack for the connected car. We are also a founding leader for Xen Project’s Embedded and Automotive initiative. GlobalLogic is working to add the Xen-based technology to the AGL spec and is further developing the platform’s real-time scheduling and peripheral sharing features to improve the use of a single physical CPU for multiple guest OSes and peripheral devices. We’ll soon be extending QNX and Tizen IVI 3.0 support to improve the functionality of other features. Finally, we are also expanding Nautilus to support even more SoCs in the next six months, such as Renesas R-Car H2/M2, which offers hardware support for virtualization.

Based on my work with the Nautilus platform and my observations of the general automotive industry, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the first PoCs for automotive virtualization coming out of China and Japan later this year. The momentum behind smart car technology development is very strong right now, and I’m excited to see what happens when automotive OEMs finally start taking advantage of virtualization’s many possibilities.