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XenSummit Sessions: New PVH virtualisation mode for ARM Cortex A15/ARM Servers and x86

This is the second blog post in a series pointing you to noteworthy XenSummit presentations. This week I will be covering seemingly unrelated topics – but you will realize they are not unrelated:

  • The new PV in an HVM container virtualization mode (or PVH) proposed and developed by Mukesh Rathor, Oracle: this is a new virtualization mode called PVH aimed to be part of Xen 4.3. PVH guests are essentially PV guests using PV drivers for boot and I/O. Otherwise it uses HW virtualization extensions, without the need for emulation. PVH has the potential to combine the best trade-offs of all Xen virtualization modes, while simplifying the Xen architecture significantly. First patches are going into xen-unstable as we speak and functionality should be at least available as a preview (but hopefully ready for prime-time) in Xen 4.3.
  • An update on the Xen on ARM port for Servers: Stefano Stabellini (Citrix) is presenting the state of his work ARM work for the Cortex A15, design goals (and what we achieved), architecture and remaining challenges. Interestingly, the approach taken for Xen on ARM is the same as Mukesh has taken for PVH. Even if you are not interested in ARM (and merely want to understand PVH a bit more), it is worth watching this session. Stefano is upstreaming remaining patches to Linux currently, and started working on testing his port on real hardware. Ian Campbell has just started porting the code to ARM v8. Stay tuned!
  • Panel on ARM Servers: Representatives from ARM, Canonical, Calxeda and Citrix discuss the potential of virtualization for ARM based servers. I added this video, to provide context for Stefano’s and Ian Campbells work.

PVH: PV Guest in HVM Container

Also see: Presentation

Xen on ARM Cortex A15

Also see: Presentation

Panel: Virtualization and ARM based servers

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