Redhat and AMD migrate VMs across CPUs

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Redhat and AMD migrate VMs across CPUs

AMD and Redhat have demonstrated VM live migration across CPU architectures and CPU vendors, potentially commoditising server processors.

The concept is simple, click a button, and your VM moves from one machine to the next. The execution for similar architectures has been done for ages, AMD can do it from E-Step Opterons to a promise of Magny Cours. Intel is a little more restrictive, but they can do it between iCore iNumber iNumberals as well.

The trick up till now has been to do the same thing between servers from different CPU vendors, it is the holy grail of virtualisation. Please note, there are about 37 holy grails of virtualisation at the moment, so this does not signal the end of days, just that the holy grail clock dropped to 36.

If you look at the video here, you will see that they did it. Live migration while streaming HD video isn't all that bad a trick mind you, but doing it between a Barcelona, Shanghai and Intel box is. 36 more of these, and we will be in great shape.

How did they do it? No one is talking exactly, but since it has Redhat involvement, you can be pretty sure that they are using KVM, their in house hypervisor. Since this is an early tech demo, it is likely using parts pilfered from a bunch of open technology sources, but isn't that what open source is about? Good of the whole, not the few?

In any case, don't look for this to be a product at the local megamart any time soon, it is early. That said, the gauntlet has been thrown down, and we expect everyone with a decent hypervisor to be showing this off soon, and products with it baked in are sure to follow in 2009. (c) 2010 Incisive Media

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