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Xen 4.2 Release Plan Update

We have hit the next milestone in the release plan for Xen 4.2:

  • 19 March — TODO list locked down
  • 2 April — Feature Freeze WE ARE HERE
  • Mid/Late April — First release candidate
  • Weekly — RCN+1 until it is ready

We are therefore now in Feature Freeze for Xen 4.3! Patches which have been posted before or which address something on the TODO list are still acceptable (for now, we will gradually be getting stricter about this), everything else will be deferred until 4.3 by default.

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Posted in Xen Development, Xen Hypervisor.

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3 Responses

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  1. Alvinator says

    Okay I have a few questions, and I apologize in advance if any are answered anywhere else but I have ruthlessly been searching Google for days in my quest to find the answers.

    1) How do you start a thread on this blog? The about section says any member can, and I really don’t mean to hijack this thread, I’d rather make my own so nobody gets mad at me.
    But since I don’t know how maybe one of you mods will enlighten me on how to accomplish this then make this into a new thread called “XEN across a Heterogeneous mix running Ubuntu Studio 12.10 and a ZFS file system” That would be greatly appreciated.

    Just a heads up, I am very new to all this so my terminology may not be right up to snuff, please forgive me in advance for any terms I may use loosely by mistake.

    Second, just as the title suggests, I have a potentially deadly combination I would like to achieve. I am a 21 year old kid who has amassed a collection of relic computers (okay P3s and up) and would like to SOMEHOW combine the processing power, I know you will all laugh and say it can’t be done, but please humor me for a bit and spare the talk of impossibilities. I am not a ‘gamer’, I would use it mostly for programs that convert movies, compress archives, etc and are compatible with multi-CPU arrangements.

    So, XEN, being that it is compatible with “heterogeneous” mixes of computers (HET for short from here on in), does that mean that I can use ONE physical computer to run multiple virtual machines (I know it does, and this is not my goal), but can it instead run ONE VIRTUAL computer spread over all of the physical resources of two physical ones, bearing in mind a heterogeneous mix. Basically can I install an OS (ubuntu) that sees say 2 processors each that run at different speeds (matched one to each physical) and utilize them, same goes for RAM and Hard disk access. Excluding the limitations and bottlenecks of network cards, could this be done? IF this can be achieved, could XEN maybe compensate for the lack of speed by prioritizing tasks somehow, say archiving programs go to the ‘grid’ and other tasks like CAD stay local, this is not likely but would be nice.

    NEXT with XEN layering across say 5 HET computers, pooling (?) their resources together to make one virtual computer. I do NOT want XEN to touch the hard drives or their controllers, I want that to remain as transparent as possible, the reason being that I would like to use them in a ZFS pool system. (Zetabyte File System) using zPool 28 running on Ubuntu Studio 12.10. This way I can run deduplication and have amazing redundancy.

    Here is how it will work hardware-wise:

    All nodes will be connected through gigabit LAN, potentially with assigned IP addresses depending on their MAC addresses.

    Node 1: The most powerful of them all, 4 monitor outputs, AMD Phenom X6 at 3.8Ghz, 16GB ram, and multiple SATA3 HDDs (currently 2 in a hardware RAID0 for 6TB total, will be breaking this though).

    Node 2: Don’t know specs off hand, so I’ll throw some random numbers. P4 @ 2.8GHz 4GB ram, and *POSSIBLY* some extra HDDs that will be added to the ZFS zPool in the future as non-critical storage or for files not commonly used (I’m not sure how or if I’ll work that out), no monitors save for the one used to install XEN with, then none.

    Nodes 3-5: Same deal as Node 2, different hardware specs, but no HDDs save for what XEN boots off, and no monitor again.

    SO that all being said. The hypervised and basically virtual OS must be able to have the flexibility to have resources come on and off line when not in use (I’ll be starting and turning off physical hardware) and the OS must adapt to this. (Hot-swappable nodes?) Anyways, the main machine will always be on when used, and occasionally turned off for restarts for whatever reasons.

    I would like XEN to basically make all of the resources of the 5 nodes be “visible” and have options able to be set as to “Available” or not, I’m not sure if you get what I mean or not, please let me know if this is unclear and I will try to explain it better.

    NOW, After all that long message, here is the jist of what I want to do:
    I want to use my 5 old home PCs, hypervise across all of them, create one virtual computer across all of their hardware, and access said virtual computer with an OS installed atop it from a single desktop-type node. Can this be done?

    Thank you in advance for your responses.

  2. ijc says

    Hi Alvinator,

    Discussions of this nature are best conducted on the mailing lists. Please see

    However in to briefly answer Xen is about dividing up physical machines into multiple virtual machines and not about combining multiple physical machines into one logical machine. For that you would want some sort of clustering solution I think.


Continuing the Discussion

  1. Xen 4.2 Release Plan Update – linked to this post on June 27, 2012

    [...] back at the start of April I posted the previous update which suggested we’d be doing the first release candidates in mid/late April. Well, as might [...]

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