Xen Project Announces the 4.4 Release

Xen Project Community Releases Update to Enterprise Hypervisor Software

Open Source Virtualization Software Includes Additional ARM Support and Scalability for Cloud and Mobile Environments

SAN FRANCISCO, March 10, 2014--The Xen Project community, a Collaborative Project hosted at The Linux Foundation, today announced availability of the Xen Project Hypervisor version 4.4 with enhanced ARM support. The latest release also includes major performance and system scalability improvements for enterprise computing, such as mobile and cloud environments, where virtualization technology is increasingly in demand.

This release further advances the Project’s position as a fast, scalable, secure virtualization engine for the industry’s broadest range of server, workstation and low-power system on chip (SoC) devices.

Major contributions from AMD, Citrix, Intel, Oracle and SUSE are pushing the Xen Project software to take advantage of the latest hardware. Additionally, developers creating services and applications with embedded, mobile and cloud systems will benefit from the updated event channel implementation when scaling out their Infrastructure as a Service offerings.

“Virtualization and low-powered servers are leading companies to rethink the data center and its potential for efficiency,” said Lars Kurth, Chairman of the Xen Project advisory board. “Our solution contains IT-related costs, plus meets the security and scalability needs of today’s elastic cloud, mobile and social networking companies. The latest updates continue the Project’s track record of rich collaboration and widespread development from many of the world’s technology leaders. This certainly explains the significant growth of ARM support, which we’re pleased to see advance so quickly.”

Support for ARM on Xen Project Architecture Grows Quickly

The new release introduces significant stability, usability and performance improvements for the ARM architecture and extended hardware compatibility. AppliedMicro’s X-Gene, the Arndale Board, Calxeda ECX-2000, TI OMAP5 and the Allwinner SunXi boards are all supported. The substantially improved multiplatform capabilities of the hypervisor allow hardware and embedded vendors to port the Xen Project technology to new ARM SoCs easily, shortening their time to market.

Additional enhancements in this release included 64-bit guest support on ARMv8 platforms. All userspace tools, such as the xl management tool, can run on 64-bit and create 64-bit virtual machines out of the box.

The Xen Project hypercall ABI is now stable and will be maintained for backward compatibility, so users can trust future releases to boot older operating systems.

Extended support for ARM specific boot loaders and firmware interfaces, and support for physical partitions and LVM volumes to store disks of virtual machines is now available.

Improved Event Channel Scalability For Cloud Computing

The Xen Project team continues to drive innovation and collaboration around server virtualization and the cloud. Powering many of the largest clouds in production today, including Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud and others, the community understands the need to run more virtual machines on a single host.

Yet demands on hypervisor scalability continue to increase, both from larger machines, new workloads such as virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) and new cloud OS technologies, including MirageOS, ErlangOnXen, OSv, and HalVM. Recognizing that high-availability and stability are critical to VDIs and cloud deployments, the XenServer team at Citrix contributed the new event channel implementation to the Xen Project codebase. To help eliminate workload limitations for users, this enables the hypervisor to run thousands of guests on a single physical machine.

Experimental Support for PVH Mode for Guest

Oracle has contributed a functional preview of a new virtualization mode called PVH currently available to virtualized guests. PVH is an extension to the classic Xen Project Paravirtualization (PV) that uses the hardware virtualization extensions available on modern x86 processors. PVH uses PV drivers for boot and I/O, and Intel hardware virtualization extensions for page table operations, system calls and other privileged operations. This not only improves performance and security, but also simplifies the architecture and Xen Project Hypervisor-Linux interface significantly.

“PVH is a major development for Xen Project software on x86 and has the potential to greatly simplify the Linux interface in due time, “said Wim Coekaerts, Senior Vice President, Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle. “We expect PVH to have the best characteristics of all virtualization modes -- a simple, fast, secure interface, with low memory overhead that also takes full advantage of the latest hardware.”

Additional key updates include:

● Better performance with modern storage devices and big data -- Indirect descriptors for block PV protocol (Linux) allow each individual request to triple in size, greatly improving I/O performance when running on fast storage technologies such as solid-state drive and RAID. Available in any guest running Linux 3.11 or higher (regardless of Xen Project version).

● More powerful driver domains -- Disk driver domains can now uniformly run block scripts and user-space backends, such as qdisk, bringing them up to feature parity with domain 0. This means host administrators can take advantage of the enhanced security, scalability, and robustness provided by driver domains without sacrificing the wide array of disk configuration options provided by Xen in dom0.

● New SPICE protocol support -- Functionality, such as clipboard sharing and USB redirection, creates a much richer connection for virtual desktops and better graphics performance.

● Enhanced diagnostics and kexec debug support -- When a crash happens, a special kernel is allowed to immediately collect information about the root cause, offering developers better diagnosis and repair abilities.

The 4.4 release is the result of a broad, collaborative development effort representing engineers from more than 13 leading hardware, software and security vendors. Top contributors include Amazon, AMD, Analog Devices, Broadcom, Citrix, Fujitsu, Intel, Linaro, NSA, Oracle, SUSE, Verizon/Terremark, along with numerous individual and academic institutions. The new release is available to download from the XenProject.org website today: http://www.xenproject.org/downloads/xen-archives/xen-44-series/xen-440.html.

About Xen Project

The Xen Project software is an open source virtualization platform licensed under the GPLv2 with a similar governance structure to the Linux kernel. Designed from the start for cloud computing, the Project has more than a decade of development and is being used by more than 10 million users. A Collaborative Project at The Linux Foundation, the Xen Project community is focused on advancing virtualization in a number of different commercial and open source applications including server virtualization, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), desktop virtualization, security applications, embedded and hardware appliances. It counts many industry and open source community leaders among its members including: Amazon Web Services, AMD, ARM, Bromium, Calxeda, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, Google, Intel, Oracle, Samsung and Verizon. For more information about the Xen Project hypervisor and to participate, please visit XenProject.org.

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Sarah Conway
The Xen Project
Media Contact
publicity@lists.xenproject.org

Xen Project Releases Mirage OS, Welcomes ARM as Newest Member

Lightweight Mirage OS maximizes features for secure, cost-effective and high-performance cloud and mobile services

SAN FRANCISCO, December 9, 2013 – The Xen Project, a Collaborative Project hosted at The Linux Foundation, today announced the first release of Mirage OS. Mirage OS v1.0 is a unikernel for constructing secure, cost-effective and high-performance network applications that run across a variety of cloud computing and mobile platforms. The Xen Project today is also announcing that ARM is joining the project.

Most applications running in the cloud are not optimized to do so. They inherently carry assumptions about the underlying operating system, which results in larger footprints with increased costs and risks. Mirage OS represents a new approach where only the necessary components of the operating system are included and compiled along with the application code into a unikernel, or single-purpose appliance. While users still need a complete operating system for their hypervisor, they can use Mirage OS to create virtual instances to support efficient and lean applications that can be quickly deployed directly to the cloud and embedded devices.

Mirage OS runs directly on the Xen Project hypervisor, which allows unikernel appliances to be deployed to many leading cloud platforms and makes applications run faster and more efficiently than ever. Since many public clouds like Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, and many others run on Xen Project, Mirage lets servers run more cost-effectively, securely and faster in any Xen Project based cloud or hosting service. Mirage OS is open source and is currently a Xen ”incubated project” and is expected to graduate next year. It is an open source project led by Dr. Anil Madhavapeddy of the Systems Research Group at the University of Cambridge. Additional contributors include developers from Citrix, the FreeBSD Core Team, Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, RCUK and OCamlPro.

“Mirage OS will accelerate the deployment of new cloud and mobile applications, allowing for a whole new set of services to be introduced that are lightweight, scalable and secure,” said Dr. Anil Madhavapeddy. “We’re excited about this work and the collaboration with Xen Project.”

“Mirage OS is an important component of the Xen Project. It addresses the efficiency and scalability required to support the latest cloud and mobile applications,” said Lars Kurth, community manager, The Xen Project. “With the release of Mirage OS v1.0, we expect a flurry of innovation in the area of new cloud and mobile services.”

"Because of its conceptual simplicity, efficiency, type-safe security, and especially its small footprint, the usefulness of Mirage OS in cloud and mobile apps is enormous," said Dr. Peter G. Neumann, Fellow and Senior Principal Scientist at the not-for-profit SRI International. "I'd predict that developers will be beating down the door to explore and deploy this important technology."

Example use cases for Mirage OS include hosting a high-performance website appliance running directly on the Xen Project hypervisor instead of a full operating system or enabling administrators to simply and securely deploy network traffic monitors or isolated virtual switches into lightweight virtual machines. Mirage OS will run on x86 and ARM systems and users can deploy projects to any of the leading cloud platforms running the Xen Project hypervisor.

The Xen Project today is also announcing that ARM Holdings is joining the project as a member.

ARM designs the technology that is at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive semiconductor IP portfolio, together with the company’s broad partner community, provides a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies.

“The Xen Project is built from the ground up with open source best practices and is increasingly deployed in applications targeted by our customers, including servers, networking infrastructure and embedded,” said Casey Axe, director, Software Alliances, ARM. “We’re looking forward to contributing to the Xen Project and working with other industry leaders.”

About Xen Project

The Xen Project is an open source virtualization platform licensed under the GPLv2 with a similar governance structure to the Linux kernel. Designed from the start for cloud computing, the project has more than a decade of development and is being used by more than 10 million users. Collaborative Project at The Linux Foundation, the Xen Project is focused on advancing virtualization in a number of different commercial and open source applications including server virtualization, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), desktop virtualization, security applications, embedded and hardware appliances. It counts many industry and open source community leaders among its members including: Amazon Web Services, AMD, ARM, Bromium, Calxeda, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, Google, Intel, Oracle, Samsung and Verizon. For more information about the Xen Project and participate, please visit http://xenproject.org.

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Media Contact
publicity@lists.xenproject.org

 

Xen Project Advances Open Source Virtualization with New Release

ARM server support and new security, performance and scalability updates headline the Xen Project 4.3 release

SAN FRANCISCO, July 9, 2013 – The Xen Project, a Collaborative Project hosted at The Linux Foundation, today announced the availability of Xen Project hypervisor version 4.3.

The Xen Project powers more than 10 million users across enterprise and cloud computing in addition to embedded and mobile devices. Xen Project is backed by some of the largest names in computing including Amazon Web Services, AMD, Google, Oracle, Intel and many other hardware and hosting service providers. The Xen Project open source virtualization platform is licensed under the GPLv2 with a similar governance structure to the Linux kernel.

Xen to Become Linux Foundation Collaborative Project

 Amazon Web Services, AMD, Bromium, Calxeda, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, Google, Intel, Oracle, Samsung and Verizon affirm commitment to the Xen Project, look to Linux Foundation to provide infrastructure, guidance and collaborative network

SAN FRANCISCO {The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit}, April 15, 2013 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the Xen Project is becoming a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.

Xen Cloud Platform 1.6 Releases

Cambridge, UK 11/27/2012 - Xen.org, home of the open source Xen hypervisor, today announced the availability of Xen Cloud Platform 1.6 (or short XCP), an industry-leading virtualization platform for companies to create and manage virtual infrastructures for servers, desktops and clouds. XCP 1.6 strengthens its server virtualization feature set for datacenter consolidation and simplifies the path to cloud computing with advanced virtual machine migration, enhanced networking and security.

Xen 4.2 Releases

Cambridge, UK 8/9/2012 - Xen.org, home of the open source Xen hypervisor, today announced the availability of Xen 4.2, the most advanced open source hypervisor software available. The release is the collective effort of a global development team representing many leading technology vendors, universities, and virtualization experts. This release is the culmination of 18 months of work, 2900 commits and almost 300K lines of code of development effort, by 124 individuals from 43 organizations.