At Citrix TechEdge Berlin 2010, you’ll get a chance to meet some of Citrix’s top engineers. One of these is George Dunlap. George is a Senior Software Development Engineer based in our Cambridge office in the UK. He joined XenSource as a software engineer in 2006 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. George started in Citrix in 2007 as a part of the XenSource acquisition. One thing he really enjoys about his job is the freedom to pursue good solutions to interesting and challenging problems.

George gives us the inside scoop on the session he will be presenting at Citrix TechEdge Berlin 2010 during Citrix Summit and Citrix Synergy Berlin 2010: Advanced XenServer Performance Tweaking.

Q. What XenServer tips will attendees learn at your session this year?

George: I will be going into detail about how to think about CPU time in a virtual environment, the pitfalls of mis-allocating vCPUs to a VM, some rules of thumb for proper allocation, as well as thinking about tweaking the CPU “weight” and the effects of that. I’ll also cover a relatively recent hardware feature, hardware-assisted-paging (HAP), how it works and when you might want to consider turning it off.

Q. What’s the most interesting case you’ve worked on this past year? Why?

Geroge: Usually, if cases get all the way to me, the problem is really bizarre. One was a escalation from a cloud provider, where if you loaded up a XenServer box to 6x its capacity, strange things started happening in Windows. That was the nicest, because the fix turned out to be very simple, and everyone was happy. The weirdest one was a case where there was a bug in the TCP implementation of the AIX back-end. It was always there, but the effects were amplified on XenServer because of sligth changes in the timing. That was frustrating, because it had nothing to do with XenServer, but with someone else’s software and there was nothing we could really do about it.

Q. When you’re not working how do spend your free time?

George: I’m a Christian, so I do a lot of activities with my church. I’m also learning Mandarin, and working my way through Starcraft II.

Learn more about TechEdge Berlin 2010,, and stay tuned for more weekly close-up interviews with the TechEdge presenters.

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