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Xen Not Ready for Prime-time, says Red Hat

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the fighting-a-losing-battle dept.

60

daria42 writes "A senior Red Hat executive today maintained the Xen open source virtualisation environment was not yet ready for enterprise use, despite 'unbelievable' customer demand and the fact rival Novell has already started shipping the software."

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In other news (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816400)

> A senior Red Hat executive today maintained the Xen open source virtualisation environment was not yet ready for enterprise use

In other news, a senior Xen spokesman said Red Hat was not yet ready for enterprise use.

Why are the pronouncements of executives considered newsworthy?

Re:In other news (2, Insightful)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816534)

The problem is that PHBs only trust what PHBs in other companies say. They don't have the ability to grasp the concepts of the products they are trying to sell which is why many really great things never see the light of day. Sadly, if you leave the company in the hands of the techs, we tend to have little to no business sense and therefore the companies we run tend to go down in flames, in spite of the incredible products we might offer. (See: Digital Equipment Corporation. They had 64-bit before everyone else. Not only that, but they had a laptop that was 64-bit and running Windows NT, OpenVMS and Digital Unix. We're still not there today.)

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15817080)

Oooh, Mr. Know-It-All enlightens us with his insightful insights.

Well, thank you very much, you slimy cocksucker.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15817601)

Notice how the cowardly and ghey AC posts in the wild in an attempt to be catty and throw off some 'tude. Well girlfriend, I think the original poster had it right and you have added nothing to the thread. I'm off to go suck some cock now because all ACs are ghey. You can have sloppy seconds.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15824066)

Really what DEC had was a portable crotch-mounted fire starter that was able to run the operating systems in question.

All kidding aside, I thought Tadpole actually built the only example of an Alpha laptop

Re: In other news (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15865034)

> Sadly, if you leave the company in the hands of the techs, we tend to have little to no business sense and therefore the companies we run tend to go down in flames, in spite of the incredible products we might offer. (See: Digital Equipment Corporation. They had 64-bit before everyone else. Not only that, but they had a laptop that was 64-bit and running Windows NT, OpenVMS and Digital Unix. We're still not there today.)

DEC started sliding down the tubes when they started replacing their field engineers with sales reps for their regular site contacts. You couldn't get the most basic sort of technical question answered with an "I'll ask someone", and that usually came back garbled. Also, the leaner roving maintenance force consisted more of parts changers who knew less about your system than you did, rather than anything that merited the name 'engineer'.

Also, they dealt in minicomputers, and got squeezed out by the growing power of PCs. They might have won out if they'd brought down the price of their Alphas, but they didn't.

Blame the bean counters for their demise, not the techies.

Re:In other news (2, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816758)

Why are the pronouncements of executives considered newsworthy?

Why not? You may not, but I find this very interesting. It says something about the adoption of Xen. You'd rather have an article on some technical Xen stuff, fine, but there's an outside world as well.

Re:In other news (3, Funny)

hahiss (696716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15817040)


Be there women in this outside world you speak of?

What of donuts?

what is ready? (5, Interesting)

doktorjayd (469473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816432)



i run about 40-50 xen clients on a handful of moderate server hosts.

perfect for dev work. i mean PERFECT

quickly reproducible, adjustable resourcing, and lets me give devs root acces on their own clients.

i presume the redhat dude meant was 'redhat isnt ready to commercially support xen'

----
what, read the article? pfft.

Re:what is ready? (4, Informative)

shani (1674) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816770)

perfect for dev work. i mean PERFECT

Except it doesn't support ACPI, which makes it pretty useless for a laptop, which is where I do most of my development. From the XenFaq [xensource.com] :

1.5. Does Xen run on laptops?

Xen will typically run on laptops, but there's currently no support for APM or ACPI, hence you'll experience reduced battery life and no suspend/resume. We hope to add ACPI support in the future, exploiting Linux's existing support.

I'm using the gratis VMWare Server until the day that Xen actually suits my needs.

Re:what is ready? (1)

doktorjayd (469473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15817074)

yes, vmware server rocks too.

but xen lets me set up/clone and configure clients that much faster.

guess it comes down to how and what you are developing, and for us, xen works very well. having vanilla installs for the testing cycle is probably a more accurate description of how we use the clients, rather than for direct coding.

and yeah, no acpi keeps xen off my laptop, but a no-X xenU domain is only ssh away :)

Re:what is ready? (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15817154)

And of course nVidia's driver doesn't like XEN. The free one does seem to work but then you are left without a lot of features.
Heck right now if you want a good Xen workstation you better forget about AMD.
Intel does have the VT extensions out and they have an okay 3d video chip set that has full FOSS support.
I have been an AMD fan since the K6-2. Right now for Xen Intel seems to be the way to go.
Drat.

Re:what is ready? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15822852)

AMD has its own virtualisation technology which goes far beyond what Intel has to offer, promising even more performance under virtualisation.

Re:what is ready? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15826967)

You mean Pacifica? Okay where can I buy a CPU with Pacifica extensions? Not out yet. I think AMD said that they will be making it into the newest Opteron soon but they are not yet shipping.
Now for a workstation what card do I use? Not Nividia since that doesn't work with XEN.
As I said, "Right now Intel has an advantage if you want to use XEN.".
I have an Athlon 64 at home and my wife just bought a notebook that uses an AMD X2. I am not a fan boy so guess what. If you want a workstation today that will run XGL, and XEN your best bet is a Duo2Core with an integrated Intel graphics card.
If you are not running the latest and greatest games the Intel graphics chip set is "good enough" and Intel has released all the interface information for it to the open source community!
Yea the P4s made a better space heater than a CPU but Intel and AMD don't sit still. Intel has a lot of very smart people and a lot of money.
But if AMD doesn't step up to the plate before I build my next system Intel may have me back as a customer.

Re:what is ready? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15818522)

If you're a dev, why not take the time to help Xen achieve ACPI or APM support!? Why wait for it if you need it, and you can obviously help the project? That's how most of the progress gets made...

Re:what is ready? (2, Informative)

51mon (566265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15818198)

i presume the redhat dude meant was 'redhat isnt ready to commercially support xen'


The folks at Novell have more motivation.

They have para-virtualisation of this thing called "Netware" running under SuSE (hmm sure I have a dusty certificate somewhere saying I'm certified on Netware). It lets Netware run on boxes that Netware doesn't have drivers for. It lets customers consolidate servers, upgrade hardware, and keep running their investment in Netware, and I bet Netware is a lot simpler to get running reliably (well as reliably as Netware ever runs, I wonder if SFT works under para-virtualisation) under SuSE, than say a whole enterprise GNU/Linux distro.

Redhat spent "millions" testing Xen ?! Seems a bit much given how much goes into testing some kernel changes.

Re:what is ready? (1)

Azul (12241) | more than 8 years ago | (#15822109)

The way the Netware stuff is currently being run in GNU/Linux is *not* using XEN. Novell has ported most of the user-space applications that make part of Netware (eg. VirtualOffice, eDirectory, NCP/NSS) to GNU/Linux. These are distributed as Open Enterprise Server, which is, basically, SUSE + Netware Applications. So I don't see how having Netware would make Novell more motivated to support XEN.

Re:what is ready? (1)

51mon (566265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15826144)

The current schedule (AIUI) is for NetWare 6.5 to ship as a guest OS in Xen on SLES 10 mid-2007.

I assume the motivation is client driven. They may have ported a lot of their own code to GNU/Linux, but I expect there is a client base of installed Netware, with third party software etc. That said I haven't seen Netware running anywhere for years, but then I'm no longer consulting in a different place every week.

Re:what is ready? (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 8 years ago | (#15819510)

i run about 40-50 xen clients on a handful of moderate server hosts.

perfect for dev work. i mean PERFECT

quickly reproducible, adjustable resourcing, and lets me give devs root acces on their own clients.

i presume the redhat dude meant was 'redhat isnt ready to commercially support xen'

That it worked in your configuration doesn't means it lacks serious issues. Xen is still a relatively immature product in the virtualization market and probably has a was to go before it's bulletproof enought to compete with VMware.

This article [techtarget.com] explains it a little better.
"
The big-name vendors may do well to follow Scott's methodical approach to Xen as well, according to Haff. "Look how long it took [VMware] to evolve into a production role; how long it took IBM to develop virtualization on Power. My belief is that Novell is doing Xen a disservice by taking an enterprise-class distribution and including what amounts to an experimental early-stage product. What if someone tries it and their reaction is VMware is so much better than this?

"They could end up giving Xen a black eye," Haff said. "

Xen's Problems (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816437)

Xen requires access to the source code of the operating system to work. Since Windows doesn't allow you to see its source code, nobody will bother trying to get Windows to run underneath Xen; and since most people want to run Windows servers, Xen won't really catch on. So what's the point?

Re:Xen's Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15816495)

unless my memory is doing me a disservice again, didn't Microsoft just announce a partnership with xensource to add vista support to xen?

Re:Xen's Problems (1, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816530)

and since most people want to run Windows servers, Xen won't really catch on.

Hahahahaaha! Retard - most people want to run windows desktops.

Cluestick for you - linux is killing windows in the server space.

Re:Xen's Problems (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816574)

That's not entirely true [com.com] . Xen 3 can use Intel's VT-x technology for operating systems like Windows. As long as Windows is a guest OS under the system, you should be able to get it to work.

Understanable given the risks (4, Insightful)

gigne (990887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816447)

Why make this sound like a bad thing? For a developer and retailer of enterprise class software, this is the most appropriate action to take. They need to make sure that the software is competently ready, not just in the eyes of Novell, but in their own eyes. Considering the complexity of such virtualisation software, they will have the issues of training and support for their own staff, never mind documentation.
Considering this technology will make a debut in it's next gen release, it's not really all that much time to wait.
It's plainly obvious what they are doing... prepare themselves in it's near entirety for the mass of users with xen related issues. This will show how professional they really are, and not just willing to jump on the bandwagon.

New tech == new problems

Nothing to see here, move along.

Xen will be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15816473)

The fact is there are some wicked, wicked smart people currently working on Zen. It's well organize and has decent financial support. IMO RH voiced their opinion too soon. This time next year when some distros (like Ubuntu but of course others) have it in their core people will be singing it's praises. Zen will shift the way we look at computing.


I am very thankful for RH's support for the GNU/Linux community but I have to respectfully disagree with their opinion.

Re:Xen will be great (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816517)

A few days, maybe a week ago, I noticed a patch set on the Linux kernel mailing list for Xen paravirtualisation support. No word on when, or if, it's going into mainline though.

Re:Xen will be great (2, Informative)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15817266)

Xen support has been in Fedora for a few cores now. They were the first distro with support for Xen. Red Hat has given a lot of help to Xen. So maybe this statement by them should be taken more seriously than most in this thread are. Red Hat has a vested interest in Xen working, and working well.
Regards,
Steve

Re:Xen will be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15818027)

Not a few cores, just one: Core 5. FC6-test2 has been delayed due to breakages involving Xen ( http://fedoranews.org/cms/node/1372 [fedoranews.org] ).

Re:Xen will be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15820772)

Not a few cores, just one: Core 5

yum install xen kernel-xen0 kernel-xenU
on FC 4 works fine, but is not very cross version compatible with FC 5.
FC 5 has a nice auto build script for creating new domU's.
People have done mixed FC 4/FC 5 Xen configs, some info is in the FC/Xen mailing list.

As far as FC 6 delays due to Xen, because of the rapid pace of dev on both the FC 6 Linux kernel and Xen 3.X.Y there is fairly frequent breakage of some type found every time one or the other is updated. Lots of people, some associated with RH/the Fedora Project as well as individual users, work daily to debug and tune the FC/Xen releases.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/xenman/ [sourceforge.net]

Was I the only one... (2, Funny)

zlogic (892404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816520)

Was I the only one to think that the article's about Xen not yet ready to be used as a relay for teleportation from City 17 to Black Mesa East? :-)

Re:Was I the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15817052)

Was I the only one to think that the article's about Xen not yet ready to be used as a relay for teleportation from City 17 to Black Mesa East?

Yes.

Re:Was I the only one... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 8 years ago | (#15820560)

,i> Was I the only one to think that the article's about Xen not yet ready to be used as a relay for teleportation from City 17 to Black Mesa East? :-)

Probably, considering RedHat is the source.

Re:Was I the only one... (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15821967)

The RH exec is probably working for the Combine.

Revolutionary..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15816544)

SCO CEO Moron McBride says that Linux has code from Unix.

windoze CEO and monkey Balmer says Linux not ready for prime time.

Sony Media CEO says Wii and Xbox not as great as new PlayStation.

Who cares? I say they're all wrong....RedHat is a support nightmare, m$ is a monopoly deserving a breakup, and Sony is about as bad regarding standards as m$.....burn them all and kill the CEOs. Ask somebody technical about things working or being ready for the real world.

Pot. Kettle. Black. (1, Insightful)

Dammital (220641) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816614)

That sounds a little hypocritical, seeing as it comes from the guys who, not so long ago, distributed an unstable and unsupported release ("2.96") of GCC with their product.

Re:Pot. Kettle. Black. (3, Insightful)

Walles (99143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816893)

What they are doing now is the exact opposite of that.

Then:
* Let's ship this (gcc-2.96)!

Now:
* Let's not ship this (Xen).

Maybe they have simply become wiser with the years?

Re:Pot. Kettle. Black. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15817451)

Perhaps Red Hat *doesn't* want a repeat of that debacle.

I agree. (1)

Doches (761288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816639)

Until you can guarantee that I'll end up in the right laboratory, there's no way you'll convince me to step into a Xen-powered teleport.
Oh, wait...

Keep one thing in mind (3, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816645)

This isn't a case of RedHat FUDing a competitor - RedHat is a Xen partner and thus has (some sort of) a vested interest in Xen succeeding.

RedHat just doesn't yet feel that the time is right, but unlike other companies who like to FUD their competitors, RedHat wants the time to eventually become right so that they can comfortably include Xen into their products.

Re:Keep one thing in mind (2, Interesting)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#15817395)

Sun has heavily invested in Xen, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them BUY Xen. Then Xen technology is in the next release of Solaris. Solaris 10 is RH's #1 competitor at the Enterprise OS level (and beats it in many ways). So if they can throw out some FUD and screw up Sun they are going to do it. After all they learned from what MS has done to Linux and how well that worked. Right now, TODAY, if I had to do virtualization I chose VMWare or Solaris 10 using Containers.

Re:Keep one thing in mind (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15818469)

This isn't a case of RedHat FUDing a competitor - RedHat is a Xen partner and thus has (some sort of) a vested interest in Xen succeeding.

But not as much interest as they have in RedHat succeeding. Basically, they don't have management GUIs or an internal training process in place for Xen yet, so they're claiming that Xen isn't yet ready in an effort to stop people from abandoning redhat for SuSe because they want Xen and they want it now.

I agree (3, Informative)

IMightB (533307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816673)

wholeheartedly with RedHat on this one. I have rolled out about 12 Xen VM's in our QA dept, and have had lots and lots of very strange little quirks happen, things like SSH/SCP failing with Invalid MAC errors on large file transfers, and a few other things that make it barely usable for what I'm trying to do. I used Virtuozzo at my last job with very large numbers of VM's on a node to 1:1 depending on needs, and it was always rock solid. So I am now playing around with OpenVZ to replace Xen.

RedHat's Ties to VMware (4, Interesting)

GoRK (10018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816696)

This isn't really that much of a suprise. RedHat has some fairly deep ties into VMware. They are one of the only 'officially supported' Linux guest operating systems that VMware will run (of course it also runs everything else just fine). The VMware service console of ESX is based on RedHat, etc. They have a pretty good track record there, and I suppose that it is worth it from this standpoint to maintain the relationship. I also imagine that they get a kickback from VMware whenever ESX is sold since it basically includes RHEL3 -- either that or VMware is paying them a lot of money --

FWIW, I agree with them on Xen even though I hate RedHat. Xen is a great performer and a very capable platform, but management is difficult and it is still lacking a lot of important features that VMware implements. This is part of the reason for the performance hit of VMware ESX vs Xen. When Xen gets up to a very equivalent feature level I think that you'd see the performance gap is going to be a lot smaller. In a hosting application or something when your company can afford the overhead of maintaining Xen -- go for it. If you are actually worried about maintaing the VM's and can't take the extra headache of being a Xen admin as well, go for ESX.

Re:RedHat's Ties to VMware (3, Insightful)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816969)

It'd be hard for you to be more *WRONG*, Redhat has been pushing Xen for quite some time, last year our Redhat rep told us that they want to use Xen so bad that if it passes the muster in Fedora it might come out as an addon to RHEL 4.0. They specifically said to us that it was their intent to have their customers not use VMware anymore. It makes only sense, Redhat requires a license for each VM under VMware or Xen, if they can get 4x the revenue per physical box they'd be stupid not to push for it, rather than having companies try to get things to co-exist on the same install, get them to just pony up for another license. Don't try and mix your different web servers in the same install, just give them each their own instance. With VMware they'd only ever have a limited number of their installations in this extremely profitable position, with Xen every single customer could be possible targets.

VMware datacenter product only supports the enterprise Suse & Redhat products (none of the non-enterprise products), while VMware workstation products support: Mandriva, Mandrake, Redhat, Suse, Turbolinux, Ubuntu, etc. VMware has two different products lines, and look there's Suse and Redhat with two different product lines too, the reason that VMware support those two surely can't be that Suse & Redhat product lines match with VMware product lines, and in can't be that VMware chose RHEL as it's console OS for ESX was because of Redhat's commitment to long lifespan, stability or that there are lots more 3rd party enterprise tools that are certified with it than any other distribution it has to be colusion between the two while they rub their hands together nefariously, that is the only reasonable explanation.

Re:RedHat's Ties to VMware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15817056)

> Redhat requires a license for each VM under VMware or Xen

Redhat doesn't really require a license at all. Just if you want support and updates, and in that case you really only need one license and you can push the updates out to all the other boxes. It's not something a Fortune 100 is going to do for all its boxes in all its offices, but if the servers are actually located on the same hardware, they probably won't have much problem reaching each other.

I've noticed Novell likes to push a lot of bleeding-edge stuff these days. Xen probably isn't as well-tested as VMware, though it's probably good enough for any lab or QA server, which is the type of box that's always needing reprovisioning anyway.

Re:RedHat's Ties to VMware (1)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15817161)

Actually you do require a license, as the binaries are copyrighted. You are not allowed to copy the released binaries from system to system, but if you want, you can download the source RPMS's compile them yourself and then do what you will with them. Access for 1x server to the Redhat binaries via RHN is basically the only thing that the ~$350 base license gives you (there is no support after 30days for the base license), you are not legally allowed to install the binaries on another box, you are not allowed to redistribute the binaries, etc.

Re:RedHat's Ties to VMware (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15818824)

or you could just go CentOS like everyoen else who isn't running it in a corporate environment (where the Policy is to have Supported Software only).

Re:RedHat's Ties to VMware (1)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15819605)

True, WhiteBox, CentOS and a number of others, but I'd hazzard a guess that if you are running ESX which only officially supports Redhat Enterprise & Suse Enterprise you probably are in a corporate environment.

Re:RedHat's Ties to VMware (1)

GoRK (10018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15824844)

I guess I neglected to mention that we run ESX and are running neither RedHat nor SuSE. Not having specific support for a guest OS does not mean that it is unsupported.

Re:RedHat's Ties to VMware (1)

kurtdg (138723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15820376)

Redhat requires a license for each VM under VMware or Xen
Novell lets you run up to 10 instances of SLES (and maybe their other products too, don't know about them) on the supported hardware without paying one euro extra.

The quailfications are clear (5, Informative)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816705)

From TFA:

"We don't feel that XenSource is stable enough to address banking, telco, or any other enterprise customer, so until we are comfortable, we will not release it."

He's talking about environments like the one I work in, where we're expected to deliver a real, honest-to-betsy, 99.999 uptime on our systems. We do sometimes use RHEL in the enterprise for those platforms, but to be fair, it's mostly in RAIC (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Computers) type applications, or non-call-path systems. Many of our call-path-systems are boxes that can lose a processor without the OS going down - or the application running on it. There are some stand-alone Linux products, and they perform well enough, but I understand his reservations in those arenas. We're not talking about fileservers here, folks. But as we move to a more distributed architecture, where uptime is provided by redundancy rather than the 'robustness' of a single system, something like Xen will become more and more feasible for such applications.

Virtualization != Xen (4, Informative)

ezh (707373) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816765)

Xen was a big hype last year, but more virtualization products for Linux come to light, including OpenVZ [openvz.org] , others. It is not just about Xen or VMware anymore. In fact, kernel developers work on a common interface for paravirtualization software [lwn.net] . That means users are going to have more choice implementing their kernel containers, whether XenSource stabilizes their product or not.

Re:Virtualization != Xen (1)

ovz_kir (946783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15823760)

You are right. There are other solutions available, and there will be more to come.

By the way, paravirtualization is quite different from OS-level virtualization [wikipedia.org] (which OpenVZ [wikipedia.org] and others do). For now, Xen is the only open source solution in the paravirt. area (other is VMware, there is also a patch from Rusty Russel to add an interface for hypervisors), while in OS-level virt. we have as many as four players, and at least two open source solutions. Who are those players and solutions? See below (taken from OpenVZ blog [livejournal.com] ). Why this is good? Because competition is good. Why it works and Xen does not? Because OS-level virt. is a less dirty hack than a hypervisor.

* Eric Biederman wants to have so-called namespaces in kernel. Namespaces are basically a building blocks of containers, for example, with user namespace we have an ability to have the same root user in different containers; network namespace gives an ability to have a separate network interface; process namespace is when you have an isolated set of processes. All the namespaces combined together creates a container. But, as Eric states, an ability to use not all but only selected namespaces gives endless possibilities to a user.

* IBM people (ex-Meiosys) want application containers, and for them the main purpose of such containers is live migration of those. The difference between app. container and the "full" (system) container is a set of features: for example, an application container might lack /proc virtualization, devices, pseudo-terminals (needed to run ssh, for example) etc. So, an application container might be seen as a subset of a system container.

* OpenVZ wants system containers that resemble the real system as much as possible. In other words, we want to preserve existing kernel APIs as much as possible inside a container, so all of the existing Linux distributions and applictions should run fine inside a container without any modifications. Of course, the goal is not 100% achievable, for example we do not want the container to be able to set the system time.

* Linux-VServer wants just about the same as OpenVZ, it's only that their implementations of various components are different, and their level of a container resembling a real system is a bit lower (for example, in networking).

Marketting... (2, Insightful)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15816827)

RHEL5 is still a few months away, and I believe that when he says...
"We don't feel that XenSource is stable enough to address banking, telco, or any other enterprise customer, so until we are comfortable, we will not release it."
...he means precisely to create the mindset that when RHEL5 comes out RedHat will have made Xen ready for enterprise use.

I think they're trying to pour some "FUD" over current Xen distributions like, particularly, Novell's in order to make people wait for RH's version which will be "ready" :)

despite Novell (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15817175)

or maybe because of.

software virtualization is SO last century! (2, Informative)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 8 years ago | (#15817343)

So Xen isn't ready for "prime time" yet. Yawn. So what? It's a software kludge that gives low-end (read: "x86") servers a subset of the partitioning capabilities that IBM's Power processors have had for years.

If you want mission-critical reliability, you should be running hardware that is mission-critical reliable. Hint: that ain't Intel.

Spend a little more, get a p-series server, partition it as many ways as you like (actually, I think you're limited to 32 partitions), and run a different OS on each one, if you like. You can run Linux, you can run AIX, you can run all kinds of stuff. You got your virtualization, you got your management tools, it's proven technology, and it runs in hardware.

Re:software virtualization is SO last century! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15818305)

Spend a little more, get a p-series server, partition it as many ways as you like

This (as usual with technical matters) is not apples to apples.

As soon as IBM gets rid of the requirement for a dedicated HMC, releases the consoles of the partitioned boxes back to the user, and doesn't require real, dedicated peripherals for each partition, I will be much happier with it. HMCs (of all types, not just IBM) are a real PITA!

Re:software virtualization is SO last century! (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15818338)

If you want mission-critical reliability, you should be running hardware that is mission-critical reliable. Hint: that ain't Intel.


This is 100% backwards. Redundant Array of Inexpensive Computers is the new model - design for failure with many cheap redundant servers. There are very few applications remaining where this is not a more cost effective (or just plain effective) approach than expensive "mission-critical" hardware.

-Isaac

Re:software virtualization is SO last century! (2, Interesting)

rfc1394 (155777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15818575)

So Xen isn't ready for "prime time" yet. Yawn. So what? It's a software kludge that gives low-end (read: "x86") servers a subset of the partitioning capabilities that IBM's Power processors have had for years.

They simply said they felt that it is not ready now and not that it wouldn't be ready. If you had read the article further, it would have noted Red Hat has been working with the software and wants to implement it in their next release. Red Hat tends for more stability over functionality. Novell is including Xen in Suse because customers who want inexpensive virtuality (if you're willing to pay for expensive virtuality you buy VMWare) are willing to put up with the headaches that the software is in its current state, and for a technically savvy customer giving them something over nothing is a whole lot better. These are different choices in how you offer your operating system to the customer, and both are valid strategies.

If you want mission-critical reliability, you should be running hardware that is mission-critical reliable. Hint: that ain't Intel.

Most commodity hardware is extremely reliable (compared with the dreadful reliability of software) and is comparable to most consumer equipment; when is the last time a TV set failed or exploded (other than the software in it getting into a bad spot and you're having to turn it off to reset it)? The days of demanding very expensive extremely mission-critical systems are over because we don't need absolute reliability in the specific hardware, we need it in the overall system. What you really need in a mission-critical system is dependable fallover/failover in the event of failure of any specific component. If a processor fails you need a method to move work to one that has not failed, and so on. Mission critical hardware provides expensive reliability through redundant hardware and hardware-based monitoring systems. If you can get that through use of inexpensive commodity components, and perhaps some less-expensive system to monitor them, then it doesn't matter that you've used less-reliable (cheaper) components as long as your system will do fallover to non-failing components correctly if a component fails.

Let me give an example. If you were doing transmission routing for an internet-based company, you could spend $60,000 to buy a Cisco router. Nice, reliable technology. Or you could do the same thing by installing 60 used computers that each one alone could handle the routing load and cost $100 apiece, plus $100 for a gigabit ethernet card. What are the chances that your $6,000 stack of 60 boxes will all fail, even though some of them might? Now, granted they'll use more electricity, but if they together cost an extra $180 a month in power and a/c costs, in five years it still will only cost you less than $10,000. Your network will do the fallover automatically if one of your 60 "switches" fails. Now, for those reading this adjust for whatever you would use, but I think the concepts are valid; lots of inexpensive "fallible" commodity equipment can do the job of much more expensive and more reliable technology, even in mission-critical environments, provided the failover/fallover capability works correctly.

There is just one problem with this scenario: you have to know what you're doing. You can only spend brainpower for money if you have the knowledge, experience and capacity to do this. Or are willing to learn.

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