Citrix and Intel clarify some technical points about Project Independence

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The early preview of the Citrix/Intel Project Independence published by Gabrie van Zanten a couple of weeks ago raised a lot of doubts about the architecture of the upcoming client hypervisor (and some negative reactions from Citrix).

To clarify where they are going the two companies just published a joint interview that spread some lights on a couple of technical aspects:

Interviewer: What is Project Independence?

Simon Crosby (Citrix): Together, we are building a Type-1 hypervisor based on the Xen open source hypervisor. It’s tiny, tiny as in just a few MB of flash memory associated with the platform, so small enough to be a bios extension. It owns all hardware including trusted platform modules and has full control over devises, but more than that, it can actually decide which platform it hands through to different guests…

Interviewer: How are Intel Virtualization Technologies leveraged in Project Independence?

Fernando Martins (Intel): Project Independence leverages a wide portfolio of Intel vPro technologies.

The solution derives from the Xen hypervisor and Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) is a key underpinning of Xen. 

Two distinct Intel Virtualization Technologies play a role in this solution: our VT-x technology which provides CPU virtualization support and is required by Xen and VT-d  which is a technology that allows for direct assignment of devices to virtual machines therefore reducing overhead and increasing the overall reliability of the platform.

Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) allows the hypervisor to become part of the trusted compute base such that you can ensure that the hypervisor that is running is the one that is supposed to be running.

Project Independence uses Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT), for out-of-band updates and access to the client…