Xen hypervisor leaps into Linux Foundation

Amazon Web Services, Google to exert cloudy influence


The Linux Foundation is embracing the Xen hypervisor, giving major clouds such as Google and Amazon a greater influence in the development of the open source technology.

The announcement was made at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on Sunday, and sees the Xen project become a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. No snoring at the back there – this matters.

The Xen project is a home to the Xen hypervisor, along with the Xen Cloud Platform control freak and the Xen ARM hypervisor variant for mobile devices.

By tossing the Xen Project into the Swiss-like neutrality of the Linux Foundation, Citrix is hoping to tempt more companies into using the virtualization technology, and thereby giving it more punters for its commercial offerings.

"It's a pretty significant change," Citrix's veep of open source solutions Peder Ulander, told The Register. "In looking at what the next steps for Xen, with regards to where it needs it go, we recognize that housing it in an independent foundation enables some of our key users like Google, Amazon, Terremark, and Samsung to participate in the leadership of the platform."

That "leadership" means that a set of the technology industry's heavy Xen users will dedicate money and development time to the hypervisor, and will be able to do this with the project free of what Urlander calls the "chains of Citrix."

By moving Xen away from Citrix, the Linux Foundation hopes its "neutral" status can lead to more cross-collaboration between Xen-backers, LF executive director Jim Zemlin told The Register.

Having Xen within the LF "allows for a more balanced equilibrium among the community participants," Zemlin said. The "whole reason people get into this collaborative development is to share r&d costs."

Founding members of the Xen Project's new Linux Foundation incarnation include Amazon Web Services, AMD, Bromium, Calxeda, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, Google, Intel, Oracle, Samsung, and Verizon Terremark.

Each founding company will put in $25,000 per year to underwrite the costs of the project, including its servers, shared validation and testing, funding for events, and other community-outreach activities.

Citrix will continue to invest in the tech, and its staff of over a hundred engineers will keep on working as before, Ulander said.

It's an open secret in the cloud industry that Amazon Web Services runs on a tweaked version of Xen, so the fact that Bezos & Co. is getting a way of more closely influencing the development of the technology matters not just for Xen users, but for hypervisor competitors such as VMware (ESXi), Microsoft (Hyper-V), and Red Hat and IBM (KVM), all of which are trying to gain greater influence in cloud computing. ®

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Citrix acquired by private equity, will be paired with Tibco in $16.5bn deal
    Go-private deal with gang it previously bought Wrike from

    Citrix is to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital in a deal worth $16.5bn. The move will see Citrix taken into private ownership and combined with Tibco, another firm already in Vista's portfolio.

    Under the terms of the agreement announced today, Citrix shareholders will receive $104 per share, a price which represents a premium of 24 per cent over the over the closing price on December 20, the last trading day before rumours began to leak regarding a potential takeover.

    Citrix also put out its financial results for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2021 today, reporting revenue of $851m compared to $810m for the same quarter in 2020, representing 5 per cent growth.

    Continue reading
  • Citrix says benefits are safe for staff – except maybe visa holders
    Internal letter reveals detailed strategy for combining with TIBCO can wait until deal is done

    Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital, the two private equiteers behind the plan to take Citrix private and merge it with TIBCO have given assurances to Citrix staff their benefits aren't in immediate peril – but warned workers on H-1B visas they'll likely face a review.

    The warning for staff employed on the visas – the sometimes controversial permit that allows skilled foreigners to work in the USA – comes in an updated FAQ for employees filed on Wednesday to ensure investors are informed about activities at the company.

    The document is largely unchanged from a version published on January 31, so the following explanation of the transaction's intent remains in place:

    Continue reading
  • Intel energizes decades-old real-time Linux kernel project
    Linutronix buy looks like a boon for those waiting on PREEMPT_RT

    Intel announced a move on Wednesday that will inject fresh energy into a Linux kernel project that started close to two decades ago – and was lacking funding and contributors.

    The microprocessor giant has made an under-the-radar acquisition of Linutronix, a German developer house that provides services for Linux-powered industrial systems. Intel didn't disclose the amount it paid for Linutronix, which is also an expert in real-time Linux applications. The acquisition comes as real-time industrial applications are set to make increasing use of low-latency communication between controllers, sensors, robots and tooling, and other equipment.

    Most interestingly, Linutronix is described by Intel as the architect of the PREEMPT_RT patch set, which when applied and enabled makes the Linux kernel as preemptible as possible. This in turn lowers internal latencies, which is very useful for those scheduling time-sensitive software threads to complete within a given deadline (using the deadline scheduler). This in turn is useful for ensuring, for example, incoming data is processed reliably within a tight time-frame.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022