Thursday, May 31, 2012

Video: Intro to Virtualization, Xen, XCP, and the Cloud

Video: Intro to Virtualization, Xen, XCP, and the Cloud:
This is a guest blog post by Patrick F. Wilbur, a long-time Xen user and active member of the Xen community.
You might know me from Xen Day and Xen training events in the past, or perhaps from the Running Xen book. I recently taught a lesson in an operating systems lab class on both personal virtualization and enterprise-grade virtualization, where the latter portion focused on Xen, Xen Cloud Platform (XCP), and even a little bit of the XenAPI (XAPI). I decided to share the video recording of the lab with the community. While by no means comprehensive of all relevant topics, it serves as a brief, high-level introduction to Xen and XCP. I hope you enjoy it!
In the full lesson, we begin by introducing virtualization in general and Type 2 personal virtualization solutions (e.g. VirtualBox), and their usefulness for sandboxing, testing, and checkpointing. Where the video (above) picks up, we then contrast those solutions with Xen (a Type 1 hypervisor), and boot XCP out-of-the-box to demonstrate a convenient and fully-featured way to get an enterprise-grade virtualization solution up and running. We conclude with a simple XenAPI scripting example coded in Python, and briefly discuss how such a fully-featured API makes Xen ready for your cloud computing needs.
The virtual machine disk images that were used in this video are available online for download. The example Python script is also available.
Much of the material is taken from the 2011 Xen Day Boston complete slides, which go into much more detail and are available online at

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