AB Meeting/May 2014 Minutes

From Xen


  • Sarah Conway (Linux Foundation)
  • Lars Kurth (Chair)
  • Don Dugger, Jun Nakajima (Intel)
  • Major Hayden, Antony Messerli (Rackspace)
  • Larry Wikelius (Cavium)
  • Daniel Kiper (Oracle)
  • Michelle P Dominijanni (Verizon / Terremark)
  • Mark Hinkle, James Bulpin (Citrix)
  • Demetrios Coulis (CA Technologies)
  • Ian Pratt (Bromium)
  • Richard Phelan (ARM)

Quorum: 9


Do we have enough momentum for a Xen+libvirt initiative?

The background is that in the latest OpenStack User Survey we have lost ground.

Hypervisor Usage

	Total	KVM	Xen/XS	ESX	Containers**	Other		KVM	Xen/XS 	ESX	Containers**	Others
Dev / QA	309	175	39	22	28	45		56.6%	12.6%	7.1%	9.1%	14.6%
POC	327	169	54	38	24	42		51.7%	16.5%	11.6%	7.3%	12.8%
Production	268	173	28	19	17	31		64.6%	10.4%	7.1%	6.3%	11.6%
May-14*	904	517	121	79	69	118	 	57.2%	13.4%	8.7%	7.6%	13.1%
Oct-13*	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	62.0%	16.0%	8.0%	5.0%	9.0%
Apr-13*	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	71.0%	13.0%	8.0%	5.0%	3.0%
*) Includes Dev / QA, POC and Production
**) Includes LXE, OpenVZ, Docker 							

There are probably a number of reasons: 1) The risk of libvirt+xen being deprecated was highly advertised on the mailing lists and while that deprecation has not happened (and likely won’t) this would have an impact on adoptions for new PoCs. NOTE: that there were some meetings at the design summit to make progress

2) Citrix not pushing for OpenStack in the same way that all other hypervisor vendors are

Lars: Losing ground in OpenStack could potentially be problematic for the Xen Project as some quarters of the media see OpenStack equivalent to Cloud. Also being excluded from OpenStack distributions could hurt the project in the longer term.

Questions: a) Is there scope for an alliance amongst some AB members to push Xen in OpenStack

b) Also there was discussion at the summit and see whether we (the Xen Project) can tie Xen+libvirt into the OpenStack CI loop.


Don: makes the point that there are only two ways to address this a) bring xen+libvirt up to parity with kvm+libvirt

b) bring XAPI up to parity with kvm+libvirt

Also see https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/HypervisorSupportMatrix

James: more interested in CloudStack and interested in fixing gaps in xen+libvirt

Don: if you fix libvirt you fix OpenStack

Antony: at the OpenStack summit there has been a lot of focus on libvirt (XAPI and xen+libvirt has been left on the side). In the long term it is better to support xen+libvirt within OpenStack

Don: Personal opinion - we should focus on xen+libvirt

Lars: What is Oracle’s position?

Daniel: Oracle uses xen+libvirt in Oracle’s OpenStack distribution. We discussed this issue with Konrad shortly and there is a will to work on it. However, we do not have details yet. I hope that we will be able to get back shortly.

Summary: a) It appears that we may have enough backing for an Advisory Board initiative to improve Xen+libvirt

b) We agreed that the first step must be: getting feature parity with Xen+libvirt vs. KVM+libvirt

b) Note that there is some engineering discussion going on at the Xen Hacklathon in a week (the RedHat libvirt maintainer is attending)

Pictogram voting comment 15px.png Action Lars:: Lars to send report from Hackathon discussion next week to help scope put scale of issue

Antony: There was a risk of Xen+libvirt support being deprecated in Icehouse. Libvirt + Xen testing would result in keeping the code in OpenStack

Lars: How does the CI loop work? Does OpenStack run the whole test suite? Is the problem that there is a lack of tests? Or is the problem that tests fail?

Antony: There are different hypervisor tiers (XAPI=tier B), (Xen+libvirt=tier C) – also see https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/HypervisorSupportMatrix

Antony: For Xen+libvirt we would need to set up a xen cluster, see what breaks and fix issues

Lars: For XAPI would we have to write new tests?

Note: this stayed unanswered

Member and Media Updates

Member updates (if new member can be disclosed by the meeting)

Cavium joined the Xen Project with Larry Wikelius being the primary voting representative (under embargo until June 3) Larry was previously representative for Calxeda, but now works for Cavium

Larry: We publicly talked a little bit about Project Thunder. Xen is important around that product line.

Lars: Will send out a press release next week for approval

Media updates and Analyst Meeting (Sarah)

Press releases in the last month:

  • Several CentOS stories, but no in-depth coverage
  • Rackspace release


  • Interest in high proportion (4 out of 7) female GSoC/OPW interests in Xen Project for a story

Analyst Meeting preparation:

  • Started interviews for developing messaging and analyst deck. Goal: Getting the big picture from Advisory Board members
  • Done: AMD, RAX, Cavium
  • Planned: Citrix
  • Requested to Intel and Verizon: no response

Pictogram voting comment 15px.png Action Michelle:: Follow up internally within Verizon as to who the right person is
Pictogram voting comment 15px.png Action Sarah:: Sarah to send questions to Michelle
Pictogram voting comment 15px.png Action Sarah:: Sarah to send questions to list Template:Done
Pictogram voting comment 15px.png Action All:: interested vendors to get back to Sarah

Sarah: Putting together analyst and influencer deck Sarah: target for briefing June

Budget Update

Updated Budget which tracks planned, spent, and approved spending

Either as risk (for events) or specifically allocated (to be sent out by Lars tomorrow)

See “Xen Project Provisional Budget for 2014 v4 - May Update.xls”

Lars walked through how the spreadsheet works.

Lars: Does this work for everyone. Should we mark unapproved funds where we underspent?

Don: Would lose information on what we approved

Lars: Will come up with a revision.

Richard: Would we carry approved items over into the new year?

Lars: I don’t see any reason why we could not do this. We can just mark items as approved in 2014 and carry over as approved into the new budget. If anyone had a concrete objection, we could cover this then.

Mark: Would there be a possible issue with non-profit status if we carried planned items into the new year?

Pictogram voting comment 15px.png Action Lars:: Come up with a better proposal – see “Xen Project Provisional Budget for 2014 v4 - May20 Update.xls” … Added column I “Available for Allocation” which contains Planned-Unspent

Pictogram voting comment 15px.png Action Lars:: Check with Brian whether there any accounting constraints carrying over approved budget into following year

Approve spending for Xen Project Hackathon

I also wanted to get approval during the meeting for funding the evening social event at the Xen Project Hackathon. Rackspace will pick up 50% of the cost and provide space and catering during the day. The cost breakdown is as follows:

Venue hire: GBP 500 + VAT  = GBP 600
Security Guard: 13 + VAT per hour (4 hours) = GBP 62,50
Food: GBP  1796.4 (inc VAT)
Drinks: GBP  648 (inc VAT)
Total: GBP 3106.90
Total covered by the project: GBP 1553.45
In USD: 2613.68 but I suggest to approve USD 3000 to cover for exchange rate fluctuations 

The plan is for the project to pay the entire sum and for Rackspace to pay the project 50% using a sponsoring contract.

Motion.jpg Vote|Motion:  Approve this expense Carried

Note: Updated in “Xen Project Provisional Budget for 2014 v4 - May20 Update.xls”

Xen Project 4.4 Retrospective

See “Xen Project 4.4 Retrospective.doc”

Lars: Briefly walked through section of the document (mainly negatives) and gave updates Lars: Will provide regular updates and see whether we can broaden engagement beyond the Citrix open source team

Xen Project Infrastructure: Russell is scoping out security improvements with web site supplier

End User Engagement: small improvements, but still an issue a) We are seeing minor improvements to on-ramp since the report started, e.g. a Fedora Live CD for Xen is being worked on

b) Questions on Q&A system are being answered more than before. This will be one of Russell’s focus areas for Q2 and Q3

c) The April Document Day has been more active than in the previous 9 months. Monitor May Document Day

d) Have a draft version of Xen Project User Survey, but need to consolidate some of the questions. Will work on these with Developers at the Hackathon

Code Reviews We have a bottleneck in review capacity in the community, which has stayed the same while new contributors are joining New contributors are taking up more review capacity than established contributors The consequence is that contributions in terms of changesets and Lines of code are remaining static – thus we may not meet the growth target of 10% that we set as project objective

Don: The review process could be improved

Lars: Has scheduled a process improvement discussion at the Hackathon

Don: Quality is more important than increasing the number of contributions to the project

Upstream Issues

Larry: was concerned about Linaro issues

Lars: Linaro CI loop is often broken (affecting Xen, KVM and other technologies). This has been raised with Linaro. Will monitor

Lars: x86 testing issues will be further discussed at the Hackathon

Distro Support

Lars: Improved Xen Support in Ubuntu and more usability improvements in the pipeline

Lars: Leading the CentOS SIG has so far been successful. Improvement of relationship with RedHat (e.g. 3 RedHat Engineers will attend the Hackathon). However it is unclear whether this will lead to any commercial changes in the long run.

Perception of Xen Project in the Media

Generally positive, but struggling to get message across related to Performance and Security

Lars: The issue with performance is lack of public comparative performance data for Xen vs. other Hypervisors

Sarah: How did you promote security

Lars: We have been giving Security related talks at most events, but do not appear to reach a wider audience. Discuss with Sarah.

Pictogram voting comment 15px.png Action All:: Please ask questions on the list if there are areas of concern

Action Summary from last meeting

Open / In Progress

  • Action Sarah: share a template and example for a Analysts Presentation with the AB (have to check NDAs) … shared with Lars, need to see which can be shared more widely (cover)
  • Action Brian: go back to Samsung and explain that there may be a media impact as Samsung was part of the launch press release


  • Action Sarah: Remove Calxeda from press boilerplate
  • Action Sarah: propose a working time-line/project plan for Analysts Presentation