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Xen hypervisor gets speed boost

An update to the widely used open-source Xen hypervisor has been released, providing improvements to performance, scalability, memory usage and security, according to Xen.org.
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor on
An update to the widely used open-source Xen hypervisor has been released, providing improvements to performance, scalability, memory usage and security, according to Xen.org.

The tweaks to Xen 4.0, unveiled on Tuesday, mean that the hypervisor is now suitable for network-intensive and high-performance computing applications, Citrix chief technology officer Simon Crosby said in a statement from Xen.org. Previously, it would not have been suitable for virtualization of these applications for performance reasons, he said.

"The explosion of cloud computing in the industry and increasing demands from enterprise customers are the driving force behind the continued technology advancement of the Xen community," said Ian Pratt, chairman of Xen.org, in the statement.

Citrix, along with companies such as IBM, Intel, HP, Novell, Red Hat and Oracle, is a member of the Xen Advisory Board (Xen AB), which oversees the development procedures for the Xen code. Xen draws on developer contributions from Xen AB members, as well as from several dozen other technology vendors, universities and virtualization experts, according to the project. The hypervisor is also incorporated into commercial products from Citrix and others.

Performance improvements in Xen 4.0 include new algorithms, such as Transcendent Memory and Page Sharing, designed to improve the performance of memory operations, the project said. In addition, the hypervisor includes a new virtual hard disk (VHD) implementation for delivering high-performance virtual-machine snapshots and cloning features.

For more on this article, read Xen hypervisor gets speed boost on ZDNet UK.

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