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Xen 3.0 Delivers Enterprise Virtualization Features with Near Native Performance
New release of open source hypervisor supports 32-way SMP, 64-bit guests, and Intel® Virtualization Technology
PALO ALTO, Calif. – December 5, 2005 – XenSource, Inc., the leader in infrastructure virtualization solutions based on the open source Xen hypervisor, today announced the open source community release of Xen 3.0. In its first major release in over a year, the Xen project has delivered a compelling virtualization feature set that is squarely targeted at enterprise infrastructure virtualization needs, focusing on support for symmetric multi-processing (SMP), large server memory configurations and near-native performance, and offering for the first time an ability to virtualize all guest operating systems.
"Hypervisors will pervade all computing environments over the next five years, improving security, flexibility and manageability," said Martin Reynolds, vice president of Gartner Dataquest. "Gartner believes that hypervisors are critical to reducing hardware management costs; drawing maximum value from IT investments; and building massively scalable systems (tera-architectures)."
Xen 3.0 supports Intel® Virtualization Technology, which allows virtualized servers to run natively on the processor, exploiting hardware acceleration for CPU and memory virtualization. This support is key to Xen’s ability to virtualize all operating systems. Xen will also support AMD’s Pacifica hardware virtualization early in 2006.
Xen 3.0 also supports up to 32-way SMP virtualized guests, with an ability to dynamically "hot plug" CPUs to ensure best use of available resources. Used in conjunction with Xen's ability to dynamically relocate a running guest from one server to another, this capability enables IT managers to optimally place workload on their available server resources. Additionally, Xen 3.0 offers support for two new addressing modes for servers with large memories: Physical Address Extension (PAE) allows 32-bit servers to address more than 4GB memory, and 64-bit addressing for up to 1TB of memory; and, support for Trusted Platform Modules, which provide hardware based security, attestation and trust, as well as security features contributed from IBM’s secure hypervisor initiative. A port of Xen, to Intel’s Itanium Architecture contributed by HP and Intel is also included, and a port of Xen to IBM’s Power PC architecture by IBM is close to completion, signaling broad cross-platform adoption of Xen.
"This release represents a significant milestone for the Xen community," said Ian Pratt, Xen project leader and XenSource founder. "It is the result of a tremendous community effort, with contributions to date from over 150 developers world wide, and more than 20 major Enterprise infrastructure vendors, as well as the OSDL and ten top tier universities. The fact that Xen is the industry’s fastest and most secure hypervisor for x86 systems is testimony to the depth of our community and power of the open source process. The industry has embraced Xen as an emerging open industry standard for virtualization, for all operating systems."
The community release signals that the code base is functionally complete and ready for further testing and validation by the Xen community. "We have been working hard to make Xen 3.0 available to the major Enterprise Linux vendors so they can begin QA for their next major releases, and to deliver a hypervisor that can exploit hardware virtualization and thus support proprietary operating systems," said Pratt. "Now we are turning our focus to extending our community testing program, hardening, and performance-tuning."
"As Linux gains ground in enterprise data centers, virtualization has become a key requirement," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to advancing Linux adoption in the enterprise. "Xen has established itself as a proven open source standard for cross operating system, cross platform virtualization and plays a key role in the increasing success of Linux in the enterprise."
"Intel Virtualization Technology coupled with Xen 3.0 will deliver the benefits of Intel’s market leading hardware virtualization to both client and server markets from the get-go," said Doug Fisher, general manager of Core Software Division at Intel.
Xen 3.0 is the first major release of Xen since the October 2004 release of Xen 2.0, which saw significant deployment in ASP, retail, hosting and development and testing environments. The new release delivers a feature set needed by large enterprises seeking to adopt virtualization in the data center, to realize the benefits of increased server utilization, server consolidation, "instant on" provisioning of servers and no-downtime maintenance. Virtualization of enterprise servers cuts capital expenditures and personnel costs associated with deployment and management of IT infrastructure. Xen’s ability to instantly deploy a virtual server image on any server dramatically cuts provisioning time – from weeks to seconds – and its live relocation capability enables no-downtime maintenance, high availability and optimal matching of workload to available compute resources.
This release represents the first public availability of the Xen 3.0 code base and feature set to the broader open source Xen community allowing Xen partners and vendors to now begin perform performance testing and quality assurance, stabilization, and development of their Xen-based offerings. Xen 3.0 will be distributed by the leading enterprise Linux distributors, in Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Sun also recently announced plans to offer paravirtualized Solaris on x64 virtual servers running on Xen.
"AMD is pleased to see the Xen project deliver an extensive feature set in Xen 3.0, one that will exploit the improved performance and memory management provided by the AMD Opteron™ processor," said Joe Menard, corporate vice president, Software Strategy, AMD. "AMD is continuing our collaboration with XenSource by contributing code to ensure support for AMD64 technology in Xen 3.0, and we plan to also provide support to the Xen project for the "Pacifica" virtualization technology that AMD plans to bring to market in the first half of 2006. The Xen project is becoming a strategic component of next-generation datacenter infrastructures because of its near-native performance, security and openness."
"As demand continues to move toward standards-based technologies in the data-center we work in lock-step with partners like XenSource to ensure that our enterprise customers gain access to the best enterprise solutions available," said Judy Chavis, director of business development and global alliances, Dell. "As virtualization continues to be a key enabling technology for Dell's vision of the scalable enterprise we see the addition of an open source solution like Xen 3.0 as a further building block in delivering on the promise of offering our customers standards-based, flexible solutions to managing their enterprise technology needs."
"HP is a leader in helping customers apply virtualization to reduce their costs and become more agile at the same time," said Nick van der Zweep, director of Virtualization and Utility Computing at HP. "HP has been a major contributor to Xen and to efforts to develop an open industry standard for virtualization. HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers running virtual machines support our goal of providing customers with the latest virtualization technologies, and the port of Xen to the Intel Itanium architecture will continue to expand our customers' options."
“Virtualization will be a ‘killer application’ for all aspects of the enterprise – driving improved security, reliability and manageability,” said Doug Fisher, general manager of Core Software Division at Intel. In addition to hardware virtualization support, Intel has contributed code for 64-bit addressing, an important requirement for enterprise data centers, and is working with XenSource on the development of security features.
"NetApp has long been a supporter of the Xen project," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Partners at Network Appliance. "NetApp is proud to have contributed the port of the FreeBSD operating system to Xen, as well as to have provided tools to help development and testing. We believe Xen can play an important role both in production data centers and in development and testing environments. In addition to our contributions to the Xen code base, NetApp also works closely with the XenSource team on its storage virtualization roadmap."
"Novell was first to ship Xen in SUSE Linux 9.3, and Xen 3.0 will be a key technology in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server," said David Patrick, Novell vice president and general manager of Linux, Open Source Platforms and Services. "Virtualization is a key requirement for enterprise data centers, and we have provided critical testing and quality assurance for Xen 3.0 as well as deep kernel integration to ensure customers can take full advantage of Xen's virtualization capabilities on Linux."
"Red Hat recently announced that it will integrate and support Xen 3.0 virtualization in the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, which is expected to ship by the end of 2006", said Brian Stevens, CTO, Red Hat Inc. "Prior to that, Xen will be available in Fedora Core 5, and we are working closely with the XenSource team to ensure a smooth inclusion in the Red Hat release process. Virtualization should be available on every server, and Xen-based virtualization offers a high performance solution that will allow users to dynamically provision new instances of Linux servers across a grid, or within a single OS instance. Our goal is to be pervasive and disruptive and we don't want to treat Xen as niche." Red Hat has been a significant contributor to Xen 3.0, and recently announced that they would assist XenSource with upstreaming the Xen paravirtualization patches into kernel.org.
"Sun is a fierce advocate and supporter of open source technology and open source communities. And we believe that the future of systems software infrastructure can be found in innovative technologies such as Xen, an open source technology that provides the ability to move a running pure-virtual domain from machine to machine with almost imperceptible down-time," said Dr. Tim Marsland, distinguished engineer and CTO of Operating Platforms at Sun Microsystems. "Sun engineers have been working with XenSource engineers on porting Solaris to the Xen APIs. In addition, Xen 3.0 has some important new capabilities that we've recently been exploring in our work on paravirtualized Solaris for x64 systems. Sun recently announced that in 2006, we plan to offer our customers the combined power of Solaris 10's advanced technologies such as Predictive Self-Healing, DTrace, ZFS and Containers with the efficient virtualization capabilities of Xen."
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