I am just back from XenSummit and the Citrix sponsored CloudOpen in San Diego. It was great hearing about all the new things happening with Xen and all things Cloud. If you missed XenSummit you can find the slides on slideshare and hopefully videos will be available soon. There was lots of OpenStack related news in many of the CloudOpen sessions, including the announcement from SUSE that they have an OpenStack distribution that supports Xen.
For those who didn’t make my XenSummit session on Xen and OpenStack I made a demo of how Citrix has integrated the latest feature of XCP (and XenServer) called Xen Storage Motion. I showed an VM started by OpenStack, running on local storage on XenServer and then live migrated it to another XenServer host in that OpenStack cloud, all without the need for shared storage. This is a big step towards enabling zero downtime upgrades of your cloud infrastructure using XenServer and OpenStack. You can find out more about this new XenServer feature in a blog by Mike McClurg: /blogs/2012/08/24/storage_xenmotion/
Did you know XenServer is almost totally OpenSource? Another topic I presented at XenSummit was an update on the XCP project. You can now get a totally OpenSource version of XCP: the xcp-xapi package. It lives in the universe repository in both Ubuntu (12.04+) and Debian (Wheezy+). You can even run OpenStack on top of this totally OpenSource version of XCP.
Rackspace are using OpenStack and XenServer in their public cloud, and it is now in production. At XenSummit they presented some interesting details on how they use XenServer and OpenStack in the Rackspace public cloud.
But why use Xen in your cloud? Sure it runs Windows and Linux VMs well, and many market leaders run Xen: Rackspace with XenServer in their public cloud and Amazon using Xen for EC2. Indeed Amazon have even made code contributions to the current version of Xen. But what I wanted to mention as that Xen was designed for the cloud. Just read some of the papers around Xen, first created as part of the Xenoserver project at Cambridge University. The aim of that project was to: “build a public infrastructure for wide-area distributed computing.” So, from the outset Xen has been designed to support running multiple untrusted and disparate workloads on a single server. This is exactly what you need in most clouds.
If you want to find out more about OpenStack and XenServer, please vote for the sessions on XenServer and OpenStack we have submitted for the OpenStack conference!