Top 10 Cloud Blog Posts of 2014: Hypervisors, Competition, DevOps & Next Gen Apps

Cloud Resources

Need some help with your cloud strategy? You’ve come to the right place. Our blog combines insights from experts across the cloud industry with a focus on service providers to help you grow your business. If you missed some of our blogs this year, check out our top 10 cloud blog posts of 2014.

  1. Hypervisor Comparison | KVM, Xen, VMware, Hyper-V

There are many considerations when such as the performance, how mature the technology is, how it integrates with existing systems, the commercial implications and guest and functionality support. In our latest selecting a hypervisor white paper, we put together a guide that sets out to help you select the most appropriate hypervisor.
Read more

Public Cloud Customers Want Platform Completeness and Choice

Future of Cloud

Earlier this month we published ‘A Guide: How to Build IaaS Your Customers Want’ to highlight Janakiram MSV recently published GigaOm report, ‘Infrastructure-as-a-Service basics: a guide for IT pros’, in which he lists the top 10 factors for customers to consider when choosing an IaaS platform. Two of the requirements that cloud customers want – platform completeness and choice. Want to know how Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator stakes up against these criteria so service providers can understand the full breadth of our product?
Read more

What Hypervisor Do You See Driving Your Cloud

Cloud This year’s HostingCon is now a distant memory for all of us that attended. However, following the event, our partner ScienceLogic released findings from its annual survey of hosting providers to gain a sense of change in attitude from last year’s hosting survey, focusing on five key areas. The area we are focusing on today is relating to hypervisor technology.

ScienceLogic asked what hypervisor technology do hosters see driving their cloud deployments in the future. The answers are below.

Read more

Hypervisor Comparison: KVM, Xen, VMware, Hyper-V

There are many considerations when selecting a hypervisor such as the performance, how mature the technology is, how it integrates with existing systems, the commercial implications and guest and functionality support. In our latest white paper, we put together a guide that sets out to help you select the most appropriate hypervisor.

Within the paper, we compared four major hypervisors – KVM, Xen, VMware and Hyper-V. Here is a snapshot of the hypervisors we reviewed and a bit about each:

 

KVM logo

KVM – a Linux based open source hypervisor. First introduced into the Linux kernel in February 2007, it is now a mature hypervisor and is probably the most widely deployed open source hypervisor in an open source environment. KVM is used in products such as Redhat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV).

Read more

What Does a Hypervisor Do?

A hypervisor is one of two main ways to virtualize a computing environment. By ‘virtualize’, we mean to divide the resources (CPU, RAM etc.) of the physical computing environment (known as a host) into several smaller independent ‘virtual machines’ known as guests. Each guest can run its own operating system, to which it appears the virtual machine has its own CPU and RAM, i.e. it appears as if it has its own physical machine even though it does not. To do this efficiently, it requires support from the underlying processor (a feature called VT-x on Intel, and AMD-V on AMD).

One of the key functions a hypervisor provides is isolation, meaning that a guest cannot affect the operation of the host or any other guest, even if it crashes. As such, the hypervisor must carefully emulate the hardware of a physical machine, and (except under carefully controlled circumstances), prevent access by a guest to the real hardware. How the hypervisor does this is a key determinant of virtual machine performance. But because emulating real hardware can be slow, hypervisors often provide special drivers, so called ‘paravirtualized drivers’ or ‘PV drivers’, such that virtual disks and network cards can be represented to the guest as if they were a new piece of hardware, using an interface optimized for the hypervisor. These PV drivers are operating system and (often) hypervisor specific. Use of PV drivers can speed up performance by an order of magnitude, and are also a key determinant to performance.

Type 1 and Type 2 hypervisors – appearances can be deceptive

Hypervisors are often divided between Type 1 and Type 2 hypervisors.

A Type 1 hypervisor (sometimes called a ‘Bare Metal’ hypervisor) runs directly on top of the physical hardware. Each guest operating system runs atop the hypervisor. Xen is perhaps the canonical example.

Type 1 Hypervisor

One or more guests may be designated as special in some way (in Xen this is called ‘dom-0’) and afforded privileged control over the hypervisor.

Type 2 Hypervisor


Read more