Industry’s First X86-Based 64-Bit Server Virtualization Solution

Feb 15, 2005

AMD , in collaboration with XenSource, announced that it will port Xen, the leading open-source virtualization package, to AMD64 technology. This industry-first x86-based 64-bit open-source virtualization solution is planned to be available in the first half of 2005 and will be unveiled at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, taking place February 15-17 in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Developing state-of-the-art computing solutions that meet the needs of our customers is at the heart of what AMD does,” said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of the Microprocessor Business Unit, Computation Products Group, AMD. “We have paved the way in making pervasive 32- and 64-bit processing mainstream with AMD64 technology, and this on-going work with Xen will allow us to continue our industry leadership and broaden our portfolio of server virtualization solutions.”

XenSource, Inc. was recently founded to develop and support the industry’s leading open-source infrastructure virtualization technology, Xen. The Xen hypervisor, a high-performance, x86 virtual machine monitor (VMM), enables a single machine to run multiple operating systems efficiently while maintaining secure, resource guaranteed isolation between them.

By porting Xen to the AMD Opteron™ processor with Direct Connect Architecture, AMD believes XenSource will provide an enterprise-class server virtualization software technology that more broadly enables open-source virtualization development and deployment. AMD64 technology-enabled Xen will be designed to allow users to benefit from server virtualization in a secure and flexible environment without having to sacrifice performance or functionality.

"AMD believes that AMD64 is the best platform to enable server virtualization solutions due to the unique architecture benefits that Direct Connect Architecture delivers," continued Seyer. “AMD understands that our customers require access to these solutions to enable more effective IT resource utilization. We are pleased that XenSource is committed to the ongoing enhancement of the Xen open-source hypervisor, and working together we plan to support the wide availability of Xen.”

In order to enable more efficient server virtualization, AMD plans to introduce in its next generation AMD64 processors “Pacifica” technology. Designed to enhance virtualization at the processor level, and building on the success of the AMD Opteron processor in the enterprise computing market, “Pacifica” will provide underlying support for virtualization solutions. This will directly benefit users by delivering IT resource utilization advantages through server consolidation, legacy migration and increased security benefits. Feature enhancements are also planned for future single-core and dual-core AMD64 processors that will further leverage the performance of 64-bit virtualization software.

“We are delighted by AMD’s commitment to Xen,” said Ian Pratt, fellow, University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and founder of XenSource. “The use of Xen by companies such as AMD to develop new solutions for the enterprise will accelerate Xen’s adoption and lead to the development of richer, more efficient virtualization technologies. XenSource believes the continuing development of AMD64 technology will enable more robust open source virtualization alternatives, and we look forward to an evolving relationship with AMD.”

AMD plans to maintain its leadership role within the open-source community by working to support the Xen project and with XenSource, the stewards of the Xen code base. This is designed to extend AMD64 technology further into the open source world and continues to illustrate AMD’s commitment to the development of open-source technology.

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