The Xen Project is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and contributors that are committed to the growth and success of the Xen Project Hypervisor. The Xen Project Hypervisor is a staple technology for server and cloud vendors, and is gaining traction in the embedded, security and automotive space. This blog series highlights the companies contributing to the changes and growth being made to the Xen Project and how the Xen Project technology bolsters their business.
Name: Kevin Tian
Title: Principal Engineer of Open Source Technology Center
When did you join the Xen Project and why/how is your organizations involved?
My journey with Xen Project has been ~13 years now (since 2005), with a focus on hardware-assisted virtualization using IntelÂ® Virtualization Technology (IntelÂ® VT). Iâ€™m acting as the maintainer for VT-x/VT-d sub-system inÂ theÂ Xen Project community.Â TheÂ Xen Project is the first open source virtualization project embracing IntelÂ® VT andÂ isÂ a leading communityÂ in demonstrating new hardware virtualization features.
How does your involvement benefit your company?
Working with open source communitiesÂ can definitely bring great value to the whole ecosystem around new technologies, which Intel debuts every year. For example, being the pioneer on IntelÂ® VT, the success inÂ theÂ Xen Project accelerated the market transition from software-based virtualization (binary translation, para-virtualization, etc.) to hardware-assisted virtualization (HVM, PVH, etc.).Â Hardware-assisted virtualization helps withÂ reduced maintenance overhead, full guest OS compatibility, and better performance.
How does the Xen Project’s technology help your business?
The ecosystem built aroundÂ theÂ Xen Project is definitely helpfulÂ inÂ generatingÂ demand ofÂ Intel servers (with IntelÂ® VT).
What are some of the major changes you see with virtualization and the transition to cloud native computing?
While virtualization technology has become the fundamental building block inÂ the Cloud, there is still a major gap regarding I/O capabilitiesÂ when comparing virtualized environment to bare metal. Although network and storage virtualization has been in place for years, efficient virtualization and sharing of new booming accelerators (GPU, NVMe, FPGA, QAT, etc.) are still not widely available. The ceiling of what cloud-native computing can achieve could be severely limited, if disconnected from powerful accelerators existing in the physical server.
What advice would you give someone considering joining the Xen Project?
TheÂ Xen Project is possibly one of the most successful open source virtualization projects in the world. The mature community and rich features accumulatedÂ in the decade plus the project has been in existenceÂ hasÂ provided a strong foundation to save you time â€“ eitherÂ inÂ developingÂ a value-add business or exploitingÂ new virtualization research.
What excites you most about the future of Xen?
Iâ€™m excited by the fact thatÂ theÂ Xen Project keeps embracing new innovations, e.g. PVH, XenGT, etc., and penetrating new markets.