This year’s Xen Project Developer Summit is over! We had two days packed with highly technical sessions that were attended by 120 delegates. Our sessions have – as always – been very interactive with lots of discussions during and after the talks. Of course we did also have lots of time for in-corridor conversations during breaks, which most of us look forward to every year.
Docker is certainly the most influential open source project of the moment. Why is Docker so successful? Is it going to replace Virtual Machines? Will there be a big switch? If so, when?
Let’s look at the past to understand the present and predict the future. Before virtual machines, system administrators used to provision physical boxes to their users. The process was cumbersome, not completely automated, and it took hours if not days. When something went wrong, they had to run to the server room to replace the physical box.
The Rumprun unikernel, based on the driver components offered by rump kernels, provides a means to run existing POSIX applications as unikernels on Xen. This post explains how we got here (it matters!), what sort of things can be solved today, and also a bit of what is in store for the future.
The security threats we’re facing today are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Rootkits, and malware taking advantage of kernel and 0-day vulnerabilities pose especially serious challenges for classic anti-malware solutions, due to the latter’s lack of isolation: they’re typically executing in the same context as the malware they’re trying to prevent.
Docker’s popularity and usefulness in cloud systems architectures is evident, having won over countless developers. Yet, it’s not a replacement for mature, proven and security-hardened virtualization technologies that support many of the world’s largest clouds in production.
In this industry, everyone seems to talk about innovation, but very few platforms exist which foster innovation. More times than not, “innovation” is simply a buzzword used by some marketing campaign to hawk something about as novel as twenty-year-old accounting software.