Tag Archives: Intel

Xen Project Contributor Spotlight: Kevin Tian

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.

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Name: Kevin Tian
Title: Principal Engineer of Open Source Technology Center
Company: Intel

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 Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT). I’m acting as the maintainer for VT-x/VT-d sub-system in the Xen Project community. The Xen Project is the first open source virtualization project embracing Intel® VT and is a leading community in demonstrating new hardware virtualization features.

How does your involvement benefit your company?
Working with open source communities can definitely bring great value to the whole ecosystem around new technologies, which Intel debuts every year. For example, being the pioneer on Intel® VT, the success in the Xen Project accelerated the market transition from software-based virtualization (binary translation, para-virtualization, etc.) to hardware-assisted virtualization (HVM, PVH, etc.). Hardware-assisted virtualization helps with reduced maintenance overhead, full guest OS compatibility, and better performance.

How does the Xen Project’s technology help your business?
The ecosystem built around the Xen Project is definitely helpful in generating demand of Intel servers (with Intel® 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 in the Cloud, there is still a major gap regarding I/O capabilities 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?
The Xen Project is possibly one of the most successful open source virtualization projects in the world. The mature community and rich features accumulated in the decade plus the project has been in existence has provided a strong foundation to save you time either in developing a value-add business or exploiting new virtualization research.

What excites you most about the future of Xen?
I’m excited by the fact that the Xen Project keeps embracing new innovations, e.g. PVH, XenGT, etc., and penetrating new markets.

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

Meet Xen.org Community Manager

Being somewhat new to the Xen community, just my third month in the community, I want to make every effort I can to meet with people who are directly or indirectly supporting the Xen initiative. I will be posting my travel schedule on this blog to allow members the opportunity to contact me for a meeting (informal of course) to talk about Xen and possibly have a nice “Xen” refreshment (on Xen’s tab).  I am based in Ft Lauderdale, Florida in the US but will be in San Francisco, CA later this month at the 2008 InfoSys Open Source Business Conference at the Palace Hotel from March 24 – 26.

The event starts Tuesday morning and I arrive early afternoon on the 24th so I have time to meet and enjoy those “Xen” refreshments with any community member.  I am leaving on a red eye on the 26th so I have some time to meet during the event as well. If you are interested in offering feedback on Xen.org please contact me at stephen.spector@xen.org. I look forward to meeting with the community throughout the coming year.