James Bottomley

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Top Stories by James Bottomley

The computing industry goes in cycles. The latest trend, growing in buzz over the past year, is server consolidation aided by virtualization software. Virtualization software for a computer allows a single machine to behave as though it were many different, separate computing systems; each virtualized instance behaves almost identically to an independent physical machine. Using virtualization software, a roomful of servers can be consolidated onto a single physical box (provided it's powerful enough). Pundits claim this trend is cyclical because it's returning us to the old days of a single large, powerful computer (a la the mainframe) running all of the tasks in an organization. Although the modern consolidated, virtualized server is unlikely to look anything like the old mainframes, it's instructive to examine the virtualization trend in light of this mainframe co... (more)

Virtualization Changes in 2.6.21

Back in July 2006, one of the most contentious issues at the Linux Kernel Summit was what to do about virtualization. At that time, there were three contenders: Xen, VMware, and OpenVZ (the latter being a lighter-weight container-based approach). The biggest fight was between Xen and VMware over competing approaches to running kernel operations through their respective hypervisors: Xen touting their hypercall interface and VMware touting their VMI (Virtual Machine Interface) approach. Neither of these approaches was palatable to kernel developers for a variety of reasons, most of... (more)