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Welcome our GSoC and OPW participants

Google and the Outreach Program for Women (OPW) just announced GSoC students and OPW interns. I wanted to briefly introduce our students and interns and their projects, and ask you to welcome them to the project.

We had a large number of applicants and could only take the best 7 (5 students for GSoC and 2 interns for OPW). What was remarkable this year, is that 4 out of the 7 successful applicants to the Xen Project are women.

Below are the projects as listed on the Google and OPW websites:

Improvements to the block I/O paravirtualized Xen drivers

OPW Intern: Arianna Avanzini, Modena, Italy
Mentor: Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk (Oracle)
This project aims to improve paravirtualized block I/O drivers by utilizing the new block multiqueue API in Linux. That should provide greater throughput and lower latency for I/O workloads.

Implement Xen PVUSB support in xl/libxl toolstack

GSoC Student: Bo Cao, Shanghai, China
Mentors: George Dunlap (Citrix) and Pasi Kärkkäinen
libxl and xl do not currently support PVUSB functionality. This project aims to add the missing functionality (which is present in xm) to libxl and xl.

Lazy Restore Using Memory Paging

GSoC Student: Dushyant Behl, India
Mentor: Andres Lagar-Cavilla (Gridcentric)
VM save & restore functionality is one of the most commonly used features in cloud and virtualization platforms. The current implementation of VM save & restore in Xen results in loading the entire memory image of the VM from the save file, which slows down the entire process. This project will load what we call an empty VM and let the page fault handler load the pages, using memory paging to introduce the concept of lazy restore.

Mirage OS cloud API support

GSoC Student: Jyotsna Prakash, CA, USA
Mentors: Dave Scott (Citrix) and Anil Madhavapeddy (University of Cambridge)
This project will develop Mirage OS OCaml bindings for the EC2 and Rackspace cloud APIs and an example Mirage OS application that uses the API.

Mirage OS contributions and improvements

OPW Intern: Mindy Preston, Madison, WI, USA
Mentors: Richard Mortier (University of Nottingham) and Anil Madhavapeddy (University of Cambridge)
This project will deliver a number of improvements to Mirage OS such as 1) support for booting Mirage OS unikernels easily on EC2, Rackspace Cloud and OpenStack Clouds; 2) protocol bisimulations against existing Mirage OS protocol implementations; and 3) adding IPv6 support into mirage-net and a few others.

Parallel xenwatch kthread

GSoC Student: Tülin İzer, Turkey
Mentor: Boris Ostrovsky (Oracle)
Xenwatch lists running Xen domains with some properties, allow connecting to text and graphical consoles. However, Xenwatch is locked with a coarse lock that presents scalability issues when a huge number of guests is running. The project will rewrite xenwatch locking in order to support full scalability.

HVM per-event-channel interrupts

GSoC Student: Yandong Han, Beijing, China
Mentor: Paul Durrant (Citrix)
In this project, Xen is modified to allow each event channel to be bound to a separate interrupt (the association being controlled by the PV drivers in the guest). This allows separate event channel interrupts to be handled by separate vCPUs. There should be no modifications required to the guest OS interrupt logic to support this (as there is with the current Linux PV-on-HVM code) as this will not be possible with a Windows guest.

Note that a Xen Project related project was also accepted by openSUSE:

Add Snapshot management API to libvirt Xenlight driver

GSoC Student: David Kiarie
Mentor: Jim Fehlig (SUSE)

This project aims to implement a Xen virtual machines snapshot management API to the libvirt Xenlight driver to enable users of Xen to easily manage snapshots using libvirt client applications.

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