Xen 4.3 Brings ARM Support, Better Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 9 July 2013 at 11:25 AM EDT. 1 Comment
The Xen Project, now under the stewardship of the Linux Foundation, has released the feature-bearing Xen 4.3.

One of the big features of Xen 4.3 includes initial ARM support via the ARMv7-A virtualization extensions as well as the ARMv8 architecture. The ARMv7 support has been tested on the Arndale Board, Samsung Chromebook, ARM Fast Models, and ARM Versatile Express. The ARMv8 testing for now was just done on ARM Fast Models until there's actual 64-bit ARM hardware available.

Xen 4.3 performance enhancements come in the form of NUMA scheduler affinity to benefit NUMA hardware, scalability improvements so physical RAM can now be up to 16TB in size rather than 5TB, and a limitation of 300 virtual CPUs was removed so Xen 4.3 can now accomodate 750 virtual CPUs.

Xen 4.3 also provides better security via vTPM enhancements and the XSM/Flask security subsystem.

Other features include tooling improvements, usability improvements, better power efficiency, Intel vAPIC support, support for newer VIA CPUs, ACPI v5 support, and many other features. This release does away with 32-bit and IA64 support.

More details on Xen 4.3 virtualization can be found via its Wiki feature list and release notes.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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