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The Xen Project to bring non-disruptive security patching to its hypervisor

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April 28, 2016

Earlier today, the Xen Project said it will bring non-disruptive security patching to its hypervisor system version 4.7 of which is set to begin on June 3 of this year.

But that date isn't set in concrete because the feature freeze scheduled for April 1st was put back a week in order to let contributors sort themselves out over the Easter weekend.

But it's still well known that a sub-project called xSplice will make it in to the release, bringing with it non-disruptive security patching so that users can apply various fixes to the hypervisor without having to restart virtual machines in any way.

We even know that release Candidate 1 of the new version is being held up while xSplice is merged, thanks to this thread in which the Xen project people debate what to put in the press release when 4.7 launches soon.

“xSplice is definitively the first one on my list,” says project contributor Wei Liu. “I'm actually holding off cutting RC 1 waiting for it to be merged.”

The general consensus seems to be that the project will get the most publicity if it makes a big deal about Coarse-grain lock-stepping Virtual Machines for Non-stop Service, a high-availability effort that sees two VMs run in parallel but on different servers.

The idea is to make sure that there's always a failover resource ready to run-– indeed running the very same workload the primary VM runs.

It won't be on by default, but it looks like a relatively good idea for users who need high availability at all times.

And simply adding the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) on ARM processors gets lots of support.

And it should because one of ARM-powered devices' advantages is low power consumption so making sure Xen can use ACPI's power management features makes sense.

We expect xSplice will make the press release, if only because Xen had several bugs lately so non-disruptive patching will show the project is rather successful.

Source: The Xen Project.

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