Re: [vox] Want to make some money?
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Re: [vox] Want to make some money?
After such a pro-citrix/Xen post I figured I'd post my (admittedly
vague) recollection of the Xen history.
I was an early supporter of Xen. I started a couple servers on campus
and off and was pretty pleased with the result. Xen related
talks/discussions resulted in numerous other departments/organizations
using Xen. At the time it was very straight forward to get the source
and patches required for Xen to run on a current linux distro. Install
directions often included a turn key script for downloads of Xen source.
Then it got harder to find/download, you had to fill out a form, create
an account, etc.
They the supply completely stopped, no new kernel patches/source were
At this time I had 6 or so Dom0/hosts, and wanted to roll out a new 16
disk Dom0 and wanted a semi-recent kernel so I could get raid-scrubbing.
This was before Redhat back ported RAID scrubbing which at the time
required something newer than 2.6.20.
Some grad student in Italy was doing some research into virtualization.
He contributed some patches where were picked up by someone who tried
to get them to apply to fedora's kernel. Suse worked from them for
awhile, as did ubuntu. Forums were filled with issues related to them,
death under heavy network loads, problems with larger disk arrays,
various ugly side effects were pretty well known. Xen also had numerous
ugly warts at the time, stealing the serial driver
for use with consoles was a particularly painful one for me. I had to
try dozens of kernels to find one that worked with my network, raid
controller, and kernel.
At that point I think it had been over a year since a single line of
kernel code came out of Xen. Various virtualization products were
lobbying for mainline kernel changes. Said community said propose
changes that will mean all of your needs and they will be considered.
My memory is KVM played nice and got changes submitted, Xen did not and
complained rather loudly.
After *ANOTHER* year of no new patches/kernels from Xen all 3 big linux
companies (Redhat, Ubuntu, and SUSE) decide to abandon Xen in favor of
KVM. Oracle decided to stick with Xen but I'll let Oracle's record with
open source speak for itself. Thank god for the ability to fork open
The good news is that Xen now seems to be playing nicely with the
kernel, contributing patches, and generally working better with the
linux community. I was pretty shocked it took 3 of the biggest linux
companies's defections to trigger it.
So while Citrix has been financially successful and at least for awhile
they seemed to be focusing all their efforts on integration and
marketing and none on their core technologies. Sure that's good for
stock prices in the short term, but seems like a poor long term plan.
Granted they had an early lead in virtualization, which from a technical
perspective (IMO) they lost.
It will be interesting to see what Amazon (which runs on RHEL + Xen
today) and various cloud providers (often using KVM) do over the next
year. Especially with RHEL 6 not supporting Xen and Amazon offering
Oracle's virtualization (in addition to Xen).
More recently in 3 different organizations that used to run Xen now run
KVM. Installation is a dream (click virtualization during the install)
and I'm a big fan of libvirt and DRBD used with KVM.
Disclaimer: I don't own stock or have any financial relation with any
of the above mentioned companies.
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