Why Xen Project need an OS for doing Virtualization?

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Why Xen Project need an OS for doing Virtualization?

Kevin Wang
From: Mohsen <[hidden email]>

How about other Virtualization platforms like ESXi? I mean is why Xen Project not created its own OS?


You speak as if making or even building your own linux distribution was easy. it's not. Also, it would distract from the core mission; xen itself. 

I for one really like having an OS. I can run cron jobs to force reboots, backups, etc. Very little need be done by the developers to enable this; just provide a cli like 'xl' and commands like 'shutdown' and 'create'. I can ping my VMs and restart (destroy) them when they hang. Technically you could build a network/remote API to let you access all these things (e.g. config files, editors (e.g. vi vs emacs), stop/start console) but then only programmers can do any sort of automation, vs someone who knows just some basic shell scripting. Having an OS and a cli enables a lot more users and a lot more flexibility.

   - Kevin

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Re: Why Xen Project need an OS for doing Virtualization?

Olivier LAMBERT
XCP-ng is doing exactly this. See https://xcp-ng.org/ (open source
fork of XenServer, which is turnkey distro with Xen and API)

On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 3:05 PM, Kevin Wang <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> From: Mohsen <[hidden email]>
>>
>> How about other Virtualization platforms like ESXi? I mean is why Xen
>> Project not created its own OS?
>>
>
> You speak as if making or even building your own linux distribution was
> easy. it's not. Also, it would distract from the core mission; xen itself.
>
> I for one really like having an OS. I can run cron jobs to force reboots,
> backups, etc. Very little need be done by the developers to enable this;
> just provide a cli like 'xl' and commands like 'shutdown' and 'create'. I
> can ping my VMs and restart (destroy) them when they hang. Technically you
> could build a network/remote API to let you access all these things (e.g.
> config files, editors (e.g. vi vs emacs), stop/start console) but then only
> programmers can do any sort of automation, vs someone who knows just some
> basic shell scripting. Having an OS and a cli enables a lot more users and a
> lot more flexibility.
>
>    - Kevin
>
> _______________________________________________
> Xen-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.xenproject.org/mailman/listinfo/xen-users

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Re: Why Xen Project need an OS for doing Virtualization?

Simon Hobson-2
In reply to this post by Kevin Wang
Kevin Wang <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> How about other Virtualization platforms like ESXi? I mean is why Xen Project not created its own OS?

> You speak as if making or even building your own linux distribution was easy. it's not. Also, it would distract from the core mission; xen itself.

It doesn't need to be Linux, or any other "complete" OS, some "stripped down" version of something Xen can run as a guest would do the trick.
But as you say - doing that is a lot more work than just using an off the shelf GNU/Linux and take advantage of the work that others have put in.

Looking at it another way ... Xen is the *nix way - use general purpose tools and connect them together as required. ESXi is the Microsoft way - build a big monolithic blob that re-invents the work of other tools (but usually in a slightly different way to what people are used to).

> I for one really like having an OS. I can run cron jobs to force reboots, backups, etc. Very little need be done by the developers to enable this; just provide a cli like 'xl' and commands like 'shutdown' and 'create'. I can ping my VMs and restart (destroy) them when they hang. Technically you could build a network/remote API to let you access all these things (e.g. config files, editors (e.g. vi vs emacs), stop/start console) but then only programmers can do any sort of automation, vs someone who knows just some basic shell scripting. Having an OS and a cli enables a lot more users and a lot more flexibility.

Exactly, with an "off the shelf" Linux (or BSD, or ...) you get a hell of a lot of functionality that "just works". On the networking side alone you get "out of the box" powerful and flexible packet filtering (iptables), virtual switches/networks, vlans, aggregated trunks, traffic monitoring/shaping, and ...
And by running a "full" OS, you can run other stuff (ie stuff not specifically related to manging the host and VMs) on the host as well if you want to.
Why reinvent AND DEBUG all those new wheels when there's already fully working ones - that's the Poettering way.


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Re: Why Xen Project need an OS for doing Virtualization?

Colin Boxall
In reply to this post by Kevin Wang

Dom0 means you can use just about any hardware that is supported by the Dom0 OS.  This means almost any server can be a virtual host.  The alternative is having to get hardware that works with the drivers built into the hypervisor, and have a much smaller pool of available hardware.


On 7/18/2018 9:05 AM, Kevin Wang wrote:
From: Mohsen <[hidden email]>

How about other Virtualization platforms like ESXi? I mean is why Xen Project not created its own OS?


You speak as if making or even building your own linux distribution was easy. it's not. Also, it would distract from the core mission; xen itself. 

I for one really like having an OS. I can run cron jobs to force reboots, backups, etc. Very little need be done by the developers to enable this; just provide a cli like 'xl' and commands like 'shutdown' and 'create'. I can ping my VMs and restart (destroy) them when they hang. Technically you could build a network/remote API to let you access all these things (e.g. config files, editors (e.g. vi vs emacs), stop/start console) but then only programmers can do any sort of automation, vs someone who knows just some basic shell scripting. Having an OS and a cli enables a lot more users and a lot more flexibility.

   - Kevin


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