EDGE 2015 is starting in

Find out more EDGE 2015
Menu
Rusty's software promises to link rival virtualisation systems

Rusty's software promises to link rival virtualisation systems

New software from Paul "Rusty" Russell aims to bring KVM, VMware, Xen and others closer together

A prominent Australian Linux developer has proposed software that could help simplify the increasingly complex world of virtualisation, which has seen major new entrants in recent months.

Paul "Rusty" Russell, a programmer who has contributed key components to the Linux kernel, last week submitted a virtual I/O system that could allow competing systems such as VMware, Xen and KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) to use a single mechanism for handling virtualized I/O devices.

"This attempts to implement a 'virtual I/O' layer which should allow common drivers to be efficiently used across most virtual I/O mechanisms," Russell wrote in a post submitting the code to a Xen developer list.

In a blog post, Russell said the "virtio" layer was a logical next step, given the proliferation of virtualisation systems. Xen is a relative newcomer to the market, while KVM appeared even more recently.

"We have at least 4 x86 virtualisation solutions for Linux (Xen, KVM, VMWare and lguest), not to mention UML, Power and S/390," he wrote. "The obvious point has been raised by many: why not have a single mechanism for (virtual device) I/O?"

He said the matter is more complicated than it looks, but that an achievable short-term would seem to be aiming for common code that could run on Linux guest operating systems.

"The danger is to come up with an abstraction so far removed from what's actually happening that performance sucks, there's more glue code than actual driver code and there are seemingly arbitrary correctness requirements," Russell wrote. "Being efficient for both network and block devices is also quite a trick."

He said the model so far consists of an array of input and output buffers for hosts and guests.

"This seems to map reasonably well to existing practice and existing paravirt drivers," he wrote.

Besides the virtual I/O layer, Russel also submitted two drivers.

Russell is not the only one who has been looking to simplify virtualisation development, according to Dor Laor, a developer with Qumranet, the company behind KVM.

"That's the exact things I was planning to add to KVM/Linux," he wrote of Russell's submission.

EDGE 2015:: For all the latest on EDGE 2015 including the keynote speakers visit the EDGE mini-site now

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Upcoming

Slideshows

In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter

In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter

You probably either love Twitter for its quirkiness and brevity or see it as a pointless waste of time. After nearly a decade on the social scene, Twitter still needs to improve its user experience and fill in notable gaps in the service. These seven problems are long overdue for a fix.

In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter
IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing

With EDGE 2015 rapidly approaching, ARN and Reseller News NZ held a Sponsors Briefing where ARN publisher and president, Susan Searle, and Events Manager, Alexandra West, ran through the considerable logistics in detail. Attendees then enjoyed some splendid canapes and drinks. EDGE is designed to bring the A/NZ channel together in a collaborative and educational environment. Themed around channel channel leadership, EDGE will be held at the Sheraton Mirage, Port Douglas, July 20-23. Photos by MIKE GEE.

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing
In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

Cooking, learning language and doing the laundry are a few of the human skills demonstrated by.real humanoid bots featured in the National Geographic movie Robots.

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments