The open source Xen hypervisor reaches version 3.4 after almost one year of development.
This is an important milestone for the project because of the key features introduced:
- Xen Client Initiative (XCI) Enhancements
Xen 3.4 contains the initial XCI code release providing a base client hypervisor for the community to extend and improve.
Simon Crosby, CTO of Virtualization and Management division at Citrix, adds a pretty interesting detail to this point:
For the first time the Xen project is moving away from providing simply the hypervisor, and leaving it to vendors/users/developers to build their own system. This release contains the whole enchilada, including Dom0, the management tool stack and Xen. In other words, everything you need to be up and running with a Xen client system.
- Reliability – Availability – Serviceability (RAS)
Xen 3.4 delivers a collection of features designed to avoid and detect system failures, provide maximum uptime by isolating system faults, and provide system failure notices to administrators to properly service the hardware/software. The combination of these services provide for a robust Xen hypervisor with fault-tolerant and back-up capabilities built-in.
- Power Management
Xen 3.4 improves the power saving features with a host of new algorithms to better manage the processor including schedulers and timers optimized for peak power savings.
- Support for the Hyper-V enlightenment interface
The XCI components are critical for all those vendors that are working to offer a client hypervisor (including Citrix, Phoenix Technologies, Virtual Computer and Neocleus) but of course the most interesting new feature is the out-of-the-box support for the closed-source brother of Xen, Hyper-V.
From now on it will be specially interesting to see how the Xen roadmap evolves, considering that only three major players are using the hypervisor: Citrix, Novell and Oracle (which now includes both Sun and Virtual Iron).