Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Jul 2006 11:52 UTC, submitted by Patrik Buckau
OSNews, Generic OSes "Microsoft and XenSource today announced they will cooperate on the development [.pdf] of technology to provide interoperability between Xen-enabled Linux and the new Microsoft Windows hypervisor technology-based Windows Server virtualization. With the resulting technology, the next version of Windows Server, code-named 'Longhorn', will provide customers with a flexible and powerful virtualization solution across their hardware infrastructure and operating system environments for cost-saving consolidation of Windows, Linux and Xen-enabled Linux distributions."
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RE: Xen and Windows
by searly on Tue 18th Jul 2006 15:47 UTC in reply to "Xen and Windows"
searly
Member since:
2006-02-27

Do i understand rightly then, that all three, VMWare, Xen, and Microsoft Windows hypervisor technology are trying to do the same thing. The difference that MS has no interrest in allowing other host Os's, whereas XEN is interrested in running on any host, for Windows on top of Microsoft Windows hypervisor technology, rather than "native" XEN enabled Kernel. And if so couldn't there be a problem in the future for Linux if the implementation of Windows on top of XEN is not as stable and performant? Is XENSource therefore helping to make Windows hypervisor technology XEN compatible? So rather than developing it's own Windows version of XEN (like VMWare) you are using existing Windows hypervisor technology.

What is the real benefit of that? Hasn't XEN already got great market share by running on top of Linux and Unix (as there are more linux and Unix servers out there, as far as i know.) And as far as i under stand it more or less is now accepted as a new standard and endorsed by most big OS providers (Novell, Sun, red hat ...)

Edited 2006-07-18 15:51

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Xen and Windows
by Mark Williamson on Tue 18th Jul 2006 15:56 in reply to "RE: Xen and Windows"
Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

>Do i understand rightly then, that all three,
> VMWare, Xen, and Microsoft Windows hypervisor
> technology are trying to do the same thing.

Well, broadly. All want to enable some sort of paravirtualisation, whilst retaining compatibility with unmodified guests. VMware want the VMI paravirtualisation interface, which is OS and hypervisor agnostic (or at least, is being evolved in that direction). MS will have their own hypervisor API but support Xen's. Xensource just support Xen's API.

All of them have some sort of solution for running unmodified guests.

> The difference that MS has no interrest in allowing
> other host Os's, whereas XEN is interrested in
> running on any host, for Windows on top of
> Microsoft Windows hypervisor technology, rather
> than "native" XEN enabled Kernel.

MS hypervisor will probably require a Windows "host" OS (it's not strictly a host due to the architecture, but that doesn't really matter).

The result of this deal is that Xen-aware kernels will be able to run on the Windows Hypervisor, as well as on Xen itself.

> And if so couldn't there be a problem in the future
> for Linux if the implementation of Windows on top
> of XEN is not as stable and performant?

The deal is that XenLinux (and XenSolaris, XenNetBSD, XenFreeBSD, etc) will be able to run natively on the Windows hypervisor - it'll be up to MS and Xensource how good this support is. It doesn't involve running Xen itself, just supporting the Xen interfaces.

You can still run a Xen-based system using a "host" OS such as Linux, Solaris, NetBSD, if you want and then run Windows under that system.

> Is XENSource therefore helping to make Windows
> hypervisor technology XEN compatible?

Yes.

>So rather than developing it's own Windows version
> of XEN (like VMWare) you are using existing Windows
>hypervisor technology.

There wouldn't be a Windows version of Xen, because it would require altering the Windows source code - not really possible. Instead, they'll improve the compatibility and ubiquity of the Xen API by creating a *second* implementation of it, which can work with Windows hosts.

Multiple Open source OSes that are ported to Xen can act as a Xen "host". For instance, OpenSolaris, NetBSD and Linux currently have various levels of support for being a Xen host. FreeBSD will too, eventually.

This move gives MS the ability to run paravirtualised Linux, without having to get their own APIs into the Linux distros. It gives Xensource's Xen API an advantage in the market. That's the deal.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Xen and Windows
by searly on Tue 18th Jul 2006 16:17 in reply to "RE[2]: Xen and Windows"
searly Member since:
2006-02-27

Thanks for the clarification.

Reply Parent Score: 1