Dear Linode.com Members,
Today, June 16th, 2005, is Linode.com’s two year anniversary. This past year has been very successful – Linode subscriptions and the number of hosts online have doubled since this time last year. I hired Linode’s first employee. We’ve continued to improve the service that we offer.
Here’s some insight into what we have planned for the next year or so:
[b]The Move to Xen[/b]
[url=http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/]Xen[/url] is a technology which allows a single system to be partitioned into multiple domains, or guest operating systems. Guest OSs under Xen aren’t restricted to Linux, although for our purpose we’ll initially be focusing on providing Linux. The main benefit over UML from an end-user’s perspective is performance. Xen runs at almost-native speed, whereas UML can incur practical overhead of 50-100%.
We’ve already implemented support for Xen in the [url=http://www.linode.com/products/controlpanel.cfm]LPM[/url], it’s now a waiting game while some required features, at least for us, are coded into Xen (PAE support).
Currently, each host has hard drives which contain the Linode filesystems for that host. As is apparent, hard drives can fail, causing problems for that specific host. This also limits the amount of disk space we can offer to all the plans because the amount of space on each host is fixed.
The goals of moving towards a networked storage infrastructure are to free us from the limited space constraint, and to provide a redundant and failsafe setup to eliminate problems that arise when disks fail.
[b]Xen + Shared Storage = Live Migrations[/b]
Using Xen and shared storage together means we can “Live Migrate”, or move Xen-based Linodes across different hosts while they are still running, completely invisible to the end user. This could be useful for real-time load balancing of Linodes across different hosts, or to move Linodes to another set of hosts while a specific host in the cluster has maintenance performed. Cool stuff.
I hope that gives you a good idea of what’s to come. Linode.com is committed to providing the best virtual server platform available. So, on behalf of Linode.com, I wanted to express my gratitude for your business, suggestions and contributions to the Linode community.
Christopher S. Aker