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Sunday
Aug302009

More on the Xen Cloud Platform

The Reg's Timothy Prickett Morgan has posted Xen packages build-your-own-cloud kit and it adds some needed clarity to the upcoming Xen/Citrix announcement.

Simon Crosby's quoted as stating the goal of delivering to market a standardized stack for a cloud-based deployment of the Xen hypervisor. Prickett Morgan makes the point that it's an open source vertical platform, but clearly should not be considered a turn-key solution.


The Xen Cloud Platform does not include tools for creating, provisioning, monitoring, or managing a cloud. Rather, it is a complete infrastructure virtualization stack that companies building clouds can standardize upon.

The article goes on to point out that it's not only 'free' but hackable open source. It brings up the issue that GPL-based open source licensed code has an interesting loophole ... Since a service vendor's revised/enhanced/hacked code is not being re-distributed (but used solely for the provision of services), the license does not require the licensee to return the enhancements to the open source community. What isn't clear from the article is the licensing regime under which XCP will be offered.

Another point of clarification is the distinction Citrix is making between XCP and the Citrix Cloud Center (C3).


And this future product will be distinct from the Citrix Cloud Center (C3), formerly known as XenServer Cloud Edition, that Citrix pitched last year and tweaked when it started giving away XenServer for free this past February. ...

The Xen Cloud Platform is not C3, but it will include some storage management, chargeback, and other features that Citrix created for C3 or the Essentials for XenServer tools that are necessary for cloud providers. The cloud stack includes the Xen hypervisor, with support for either Linux or Windows instances inside of its virtual machines. The stack also includes a domain 0 Linux installer for the Xen hypervisor that is pulled right from the kernel.org site where the Linux kernel lives. ... Citrix will open source storage features it has created to link into disk arrays to do volume management, snapshotting, cloning, and such, and chargeback and other features to cope with usage tracking will be added to the stack as well by Citrix.

Of major interest is the approach to a distributed virtual switch infrastructure. The article notes that XCP will include the Open vSwitch that's available under the Apache 2 license., and is supported by the Citrix XenServer 5.5 hypervisor. This is not yet a full OSS solution, and Citrix will be under pressure to either release to open source some of their virtual switch technology, or Open vSwitch will need to light a fire.

Finally, the support of DMTF's OVF is reiterated.

 

 

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