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Hi everyone,                                                                                                                                                                
we're releasing Snowflock to the general public. We're making a binary and                                                                                                  
source relase, under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The release is                                                                                                   
available at                                                                                                                       
Briefly, Snowflock lets you clone Xen VMs into dozens of identical                                                                                                          
replicas running in different hosts. Snowflock can do this in less than a                                                                                                   
second and with very low runtime overhead. With Snowflock you can, for                                                                                                      
example, perform parallel computations on the fly by scaling                                                                                                                
"instantaneously" your computing footprint in a shared cluster. Snowflock                                                                                                   
is a research prototype, hence the 0.1 major-minor. A minimum degree of                                                                                                     
experience with Xen and Linux is necessary to use the system. The contact                                                                                                   
address for snowflock is                                                                                                                     
More technically:                                                                                                                                                           
Snowflock is our prototype implementation of the / Impromptu Cluster (IC)/                                                                                                  
abstraction. In an IC, an application encapsulated inside a virtual machine                                                                                                 
(VM) is swiftly forked into multiple copies that execute on different                                                                                                       
physical hosts, and then disappear when the computation ends. ICs simplify                                                                                                  
the development of parallel applications and reduces management burden by                                                                                                   
enabling the instantiation of new stateful computing elements: workers that                                                                                                 
need no setup time because they have a memory of the application state                                                                                                      
achieved up to the point of forking. This approach combines the benefits of                                                                                                 
cluster-based parallelism with those of running inside a VM.                                                                                                                
Snowflock provides swift parallel VM cloning that makes it possible for                                                                                                     
Internet applications to deliver near-interactive performance for                                                                                                           
resource-intensive highly-parallelizable tasks. Snowflock makes use of                                                                                                      
four key techniques: /VM descriptors/ (condensed VM images that allow for                                                                                                   
sub-second suspension of a running VM and resumption of a of replicas); a                                                                                                   
/memory-on-demand/ subsystem that lazily populates the VM's memory image                                                                                                    
during runtime; a set of / avoidance heuristics/ that minimize the amount                                                                                                   
of VM memory state to be fetched on demand; and a /multicast distribution/                                                                                                  
system for commodity Ethernet networking hardware that makes the overhead                                                                                                   
of instantiating multiple VMs similar to that of instantiating a single                                                                                                     

Виртуализация и паравиртуализация
Эмуляция | Виртуализация | Паравиртуализация | Рекурсивная виртуализация
Паравиртуальные драйверы | Виртуализация ввода/вывода

Общие вопросы по Xen
Аппаратные требования Xen | Поддержка Xen операционными системами | Поддерживаемые аппаратные архитектуры |
Примеры использования Xen | Сравнение виртуальных машин |
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Альтернативы Xen

свободные: KVM | LXC | OpenVZ | VServer | QEMU | VirtualBox
проприетарные: Hyper-V | VMware ESX Server

Технические вопросы
Инсталляция Xen | Конфигурационный файл домена
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Распределение ресурсов между доменами | Перенос системы внутрь Xen | HVM -> PV

Управление и кластеризация | Enomalism | Xen+DRBD | Ganeti | Convirt 2.0 | SkyCover Infrastructure
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