Profoss / Events / January 2008: Virtualisation / Speakers / Kris Buytaert

Kris Buytaert

Speaker Details
Name Kris Buytaert

Kris Buytaert is a long time Linux and Open Source Consultant doing Linux and Open Source projects in Belgium , Europe ant the rest of the universe. He is currently working for Inuits, and starting up some new projects still in stealth mode. Kris is the Co-Author of Virtualization with Xen , maintainer of the openMosix HOWTO and author of different technical publications. He is a frequent speaker at different international conferences. He spends most of his time working on Linux Clustering (both HA and HPC), Virtualisation and Large Infrastructure Management projects hence trying to build infrastructures that can survive the 10th floor test


You'll present a case study. What's the profile of the company you'll talk about?

I'll be presenting different cases but most of them are from a hightech telecom equipment manufacturer that uses virtualisation in it's own development infrastructure and in the products it ships.


Whose decision was it to use virtualisation in that company,


The company itself.

and what was the reason?

In one of the cases it was a sane desicion to investigate replacing 32 almost identical machines running lightweight web applications onto 2 servers with each 16 highly available virtual machines.


Is there a lot of planning involved in the introduction of virtualisation in a company?


Off course you have to plan . And planning a consolidation means you'll need to know a fair deal of how your current infrastructure behaves, what resources it actually requires. Frequently the lack of knowledge on what is running in a current infrastructure is the main blocking factor in a consolidation project. On the other hand, if you are lucky enough to be able to design an infrastructure from scratch I`m pretty sure that adding virtualisation in your design isn't adding extra work. It will give you more flexibility and a roadmap to start small and scale out.


Can a company do without virtualisation these days?



Virtualisation as been overhyped the past couple of months, of course a company can do without. Using virtualisation because of virtualisation is a bad reason, you really need to see the benefit for your organisation and if there is no direct win virtualisation might not be for you.


As a co-author of a book on Xen, how do you explain that Sun, Oracle and Citrix have chosen Xen to power their virtualisation solution?

Xen was the first big stable and usable opensource virtualization project around, it was also amongst the first if not the first to support the VT capabilities in new CPU's back then. Back in early 2005 Oracle was already applauding the stability of running their database on Xen. ( So it's pretty obvious that organisations wanting to build on top of a virtualisation framework got a mature, well supported feature rich platform when chosing Xen. The buy of Xen Source by Citrix introduced some fears about the futur of Xen. Have you seen any impact yet? It's too early to tell the news only broke 4 months ago so we'll need to give it some time before we can see what's really going on and what direction Citrix will be finally taking with their XenSource products. Time will tell if the direction Citrix is heading and the decisions they make is going to hurt or benefit the users and developers of the open source Xen framework.

Is Xen the Open Source contender in the virtualisation landscape? Is it up to par with advanced features in, for example, VMWare's offer like server farms?

Comparing Xen with VMWare is like comparing a Ferarri Engine with a Alfa Romeo car, they both come from Italy. VMWare ships the engine and the car in one package, that's all you can buy , yes you can add 3rd party spoilers and get new paintjobs but the package is pretty predefined. Xen gives you a bare metal virtualization infrastructure with a good set of management tools. There are a zillion alternatives to manage that infrastructure, XenSource has its own set but you can also choose other alternatives. And if you call VMWare par, there are a couple of alternatives out there that are putting for birdie.