A developerWorks article appeared last week by Martin Fuerderer and Nicole Neubuerger on the subject of Running Informix Dynamic Server on Linux in Xen hypervisor - IDS in a virtual environment.
Xen is an open source Virtual Machine (VM) manager that works by inserting a thin sofware layer, the Xen hypervisor between the server's hardware and the operating system. It is known for being very lean (<50,000 lines of code) and offering near native performance.
The article starts with the basics on setting up Xen Hypervisor on Linux. Next it takes a look at IDS operating system specific characteristics - such as raw device support, Kernel Asynchronous IO (KAIO), Direct IO, No aging, and processor affinity - and how they typically interact with Linux. These leads to a testing plan to see how the operating system specific functionality holds up under Xen.
At the risk of spoiling the surprise.. it holds up well.
We are seeing a lot of interest lately in IDS virtualization, and the concept of an Informix Virtual appliance - IDS running on a virtual machine with developer software pre-installed and ready to use. What would you expect and how would you use this type of appliance? If you have an opinion on this please leave comments.
If you are interested in this area, and would potentially be willing to participate in a beta or early test of a VMware based IDS appliance please contact me at guyb _at_ us.ibm.com for more details.