Last April, Citrix and The Linux Foundation created the Xen Project – a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project – together with 12 other industry leaders to oversee and support the open source community that develops the Xen® virtualization platform and related virtualazition technologies. Since then, the number of industry leaders supporting the project has grown to 15, code contributions have increased by >30%, innovation is increasing rapidly and the project is pushing the envelope in areas such as security, cloud & cloud operating systems, performance/scalability and is pushing the use of virtualization into new market segments (such as automotive/avionics/embedded/mobile). Citrix remains one of the key contributors to the Xen Project, with just over 1/3 of code contributions. Xen Project technology is also used in many Citrix Products and Services.

The Xen Project’s Developer Summit is just round the corner and will be held in Chicago, Aug 18-19 alongside the Linux Kernel Summit. I thought I’d share what you can expect and see whether it makes sense for you to attend.

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(click image to go to event website)

What to expect?

Xen Project Developer Summits are packed with highly technical content where the core developers of the Xen Project community come together to discuss the evolution of the Xen Project. The conference is a mixture of talks and interactive sessions in un-conference format (which we call BoFs). Newcomers and those who are interested in the progress and future of the Xen Project, it’s sub projects (Hypervisor on ARM and x86, Embedded and Automotive variants, Cloud Operating Systems such as Mirage OS) tend to get tremendous value from attending the event. What is happening in the Xen Project will often have an impact on Citrix products and services a year or two down the line.

Besides roadmap, feature updates and developer topics, this year’s Xen Project Developer Summit features a few themes:

  • Network Function Virtualization
  • Security
  • Performance and Scalability
  • Cloud Operating Systems
  • Topics that are important for automotive/embedded/mobile use-cases, such as Real-time virtualization, certification and ARM support

Of course there is often cross-over and there are many synergies between the different vendors that are collaborating on the Xen Project.

Should I attend?

Xen Project Developer Summits are developer events and very different from commercial trade-shows. They are small events, with very technical content and many domain experts attending the event. Thus, I cannot answer the this question for you.

Why not check out the agenda or watch last year’s sessions to help you make a decision.

How to get the most out of the Summit?

Xen Project developer events are designed to help you make connections and to participate. A good way to network are our evening social event. Another great way to get the most out of the summit is to submit a technical BoF/discussion group about a topic you care about or to participate in a BoF/discussion group. BoF submissions are open until August 11 and the BoF schedule will be published the week before the event. Most of our talks will have an extensive and interactive Q&A portion, which is another way to engage.