Future of Xen Project: Video Spotlight Interview with Xen Project’s Chairperson Lars Kurth

Lars Kurth had his first contact with the open source community in 1997 when he worked on various parts of the ARM toolchain. He has since become an open source enthusiasts, worked on several open source communities, and is the chairperson of the Xen Project Advisory Board. He is also the Director of the Xen Project at Citrix.

He recently sat down to discuss why Xen Project software makes sense for the cloud and where the community and technology is heading this year in this short video. Read on for more.

The Xen Project community has flourished and grown throughout the years. The latest release from the Xen Project (Hypervisor 4.6) produced the best quality and quantity of contributors from cloud providers, software vendors, hardware vendors, academic researchers and individuals.

The Xen Project entices new users to join with its high energy and inclusive nature. It periodically hosts hackathons to give developers the opportunity to meet face to face, to discuss development, coordinate, write code, and collaborate with other developers. The Project will have its next hackathon at ARM’s headquarters in Cambridge on April 18 – 19.

Since the Xen Project became a collaborative project under the Linux Foundation tutelage in 2013, the technology has been able to break into a lot of new use cases, most notably automotive and embedded — check out GlobalLogic’s use of Xen on Linux.com if you haven’t read it already. These recent innovations areas have also been very beneficial to traditional Xen Project use cases. For example, Automotive real-time scheduling is not only important for this industry, but server and data centers as they relate to things like online gaming.

From it’s inception, Xen was created for cloud computing — its early work with Amazon AWS allowed the hypervisor to create a great architecture for the cloud. It has since brought on a lot of new members and contributors to help continue to address the current and future needs of cloud computing, and will continue to innovate in new market segments from automotive to Unikernels.

Xen Project 4.4.4 Maintenance Release is Available

I am pleased to announce the release of Xen 4.4.4. Xen Project Maintenance releases are released in line with our Maintenance Release Policy. We recommend that all users of the 4.4 stable series update to this point release.

Xen 4.4.4 is available immediately from its git repository:

    xenbits.xenproject.org/gitweb/?p=xen.git;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/stable-4.4
    (tag RELEASE-4.4.4)

or from the Xen Project download page at www.xenproject.org/downloads/xen-archives/xen-44-series/xen-444.html.

This release contains many bug fixes and improvements. For a complete list of changes in this release, please check lists of changes on the download page.

Note that this is the last Xen Project coordinated release of the 4.4 stable series. The tree will be switched to security only maintenance mode after this release.

Why GlobalLogic Uses Xen (Overheard at CES)

We were lucky to have the opportunity to meet up with GlobalLogic at CES and talk to them about their Nautilus platform for automotive virtualization. A few years ago, no one understood why the company was demoing hypervisor technology as a part of Nautilus, a set of solution accelerators that includes architectural concepts, a modified Android OS distribution, and advanced UI concepts. Today, however, no one is questioning why they are using virtualization.

As Alex Agizim, CTO of GlobalLogic told us, “People now clearly understand why Xen is needed to implement the functionality that the market demands. The ability to consolidate different systems on a single computer to gain time to market offers tremendous advantages. Virtualization also offers more flexible functionality and all the benefits of an open world, yet the system is very well controlled with security and stability. The Xen hypervisor is the right solution to allow GlobalLogic to accomplish this.”

If you want to learn more about the technology behind Nautilus and how GlobalLogic’s GPU virtualization solution enables multiple domains to share the GPU hardware with no more than a 5 percent overall drop in performance, check out Agizim’s latest byline on Linux.com or better yet, check out this demo.

IMG_20160107_192243524 (1).jpg

ARM hosts Xen Project Hackathon, April 18-19 in Cambridge, UK

I am pleased to announce the next Xen Project Hackathon. The Hackathon will be hosted by ARM in their Cambridge Headquarters from April 18 and 19. I wanted to thank Philippe Robin and Thomas Molgaard from ARM for hosting the Hackathon.

ARMARM designs technology that is at the heart of advanced digital products and has built a broad partner community that increasingly embraces an open source and collaborative development model to keep pace with transitions in the industry. Enabling developer collaboration on open source projects, like Xen, is key to help optimize support for system virtualization. ARM is pleased to host and support this event.

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. And, 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 18th. We will cover many hot topics such as the latest Xen Project Hypervisor 4.7 features, planning for the next Xen Project Hypervisor release, Cloud Integration, Cloud Operating Systems, Mirage OS as well as Xen Project in emerging segments such as embedded, mobile, automotive and NFV. But, at the end of the day, the community will chose the topics that are covered — more on our process here below.

To ensure that the event runs efficiently, we adhere to the following process: 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 starts with a plenary and scheduling session. Every attendee who cares about a topic can announce a topic, which we will map against a work area and time-slot. This makes it easy for other attendees to participate in projects and discussions they care about. We also encourage attendees to highlight projects they plan to share before the event by adding them to our wiki.

We will wrap up each day with another short plenary session: the aim of this session is to summarize what was done, show brief demos and make improvements to the process.

To give you a sense of the venue, we attached a few pictures of the venue:

ARM Cambridge Arm Cambridge Panorama ARM Cambridge Atrium

How to Register?

As spaces at the Xen Project Hackathon are limited, we are asking attendees to request an invitation. You will need to cover your own travel, accommodation and other costs such as evening meals, etc. We do have a very limited number of travel stipends available for individuals who cannot afford to travel. Please contact community dot manager at xenproject dot org if you need to make use of it.

Reports from Previous Hackathons

More Information

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.

Future of Xen Project: Video Spotlight Interview with Citrix’s George Dunlap

In this video, George Dunlap Senior Engineer of Citrix explains how and why Citrix works with the Xen Project, why companies use Xen Project Hypervisor, and new opportunities for the future of this technology.

Citrix Systems designs, develops and markets technology solutions that enable information technology (IT) services. Citrix has always been committed to the community and consistent in its principles of transparency and neutrality, helping the Xen Project maintain its position as one of the leading open source hypervisors.

One of the major benefits of being a part of the Xen Project is the multiplier benefit that comes with contributing code to open source communities. For example, if Citrix contributes 25% of the code, the equivalent of hiring 25 engineers, it receives 100 engineers’ worth of development as part of the Xen Project. This helps Citrix build the most efficient enterprise products possible and also allows the company to take an active role in leading the Xen Project Hypervisor into the future.

How has this collaboration been put into action? Most recently, Xen Project announced its 4.6 release, which was built into Citrix’s XenServer Dundee (this recently entered beta 1).*

As virtualization moves beyond simply being used for services, and expands into networks, mobile, automotive, and more embedded systems, features like isolation for security, lightweight for mobile, and high performance will continue to help Xen Project Hypervisor grow and support the next stage in cloud computing and virtualization. And Citrix will be there to help further this growth.

*XenServer Dundee has not been released and its feature set has not been finalized.