The Xen team announced the release of Xen 2.0, the open-source Virtual Machine Monitor.Xen enables you to run multiple operating systems images concurrently on the same hardware, securely partitioning the resources of the machine between them. Xen uses a technique called ‘para-virtualization’ to achieve very low performance overhead –typically just a few percent relative to native. This new release provides kernel support for Linux 2.4.27/2.6.9 and NetBSD, with FreeBSD and Plan9 to follow in the next few weeks.
Xen 2.0 runs on almost the entire set of modern x86 hardware supported by Linux, and is easy to ‘drop-in’ to an existing Linux installation. The new release has a lot more flexibility in how guest OS virtual I/O devices are configured. For example, you can configure arbitrary firewalling, bridging and routing of guest virtual network interfaces, and use copy-on-write LVM volumes or loopback files for storing guest OS disk images. Another new feature is ‘live migration’, which allows running OS images to be moved between nodes in a cluster without having to stop them. Visit the Xen homepage for downloads and documentation.