Xen Hypervisor Goes Mainstream

Last week, the Xen.org community announced a significant milestone in the world of Linux virtualization with the news that open source Xen code for Dom0 was accepted into the Linux mainline kernel. The complete announcement is at http://blog.xen.org/index.php/2011/06/02/xen-celebrates-full-dom0-and-domu-support-in-linux-3-0/. From Wim Coekaerts blog at Oracle, “All this means that every single bit of support needed in Linux to work perfectly well with Xen is -in- the mainline kernel tree. I’ve heard over the last few years, competitors use “There is no Xen support in Linux” as a tagline to create fud with the Xen userbase and promote alternatives. Well, it’s all there people. As Linux evolves, now, within that code base, the Linux/Xen bits will evolve at the same rate without separate patch trees and big chunks of code to carry along. This is great, Xen is a great hypervisor with capabilities and features that one cannot achieve in a non-true hypervisor architecture.“Every Linux kernel from 2.6.39 onwards will now contain the Xen hypervisor as it does KVM giving open source users a choice in hypervisors without having to take any additional steps. No longer will the KVM community have the argument that Xen is more difficult to use, as it is not in mainline Linux. Instead, open source consumers of virtualization can select from “an infrastructure abstraction independent of any OS (Xen) or as a component of your Linux distro (KVM).” [From Simon Croby’s blog Xen and KVM – The Art of Accommodation]. As someone who spent almost three years dealing with this issue during my time as Xen.org community manager I am pleased to see all the hard work of developers within the Linux and Xen.org community achieve this monumental effort; over four years of development work.  Clearly, this announcement demonstrates that various open source communities including competing open source communities can come together and solve complex technical issues for the benefit of customers. Congrats to everyone involved in this effort and I look forward to the success of both Xen.org and KVM in the rapidly expanding cloud revolution.

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