Advanced Micro Devices and Red Hat are demonstrating new virtualization capabilities that will allow virtual machines to migrate between servers based on Intel processors and systems using AMD's quad-core Opteron processors. While virtual machines can migrate between physical systems that use the same processors, the Red Hat and AMD demonstration shows that it is possible to move a virtual machine between an AMD-based system and an Intel Xeon-based system.
In a demonstration that could have a significant impact on the
virtualization market, Advanced
have shown that it is possible to live-migrate a virtual
machine from a physical server using an Intel processor to a system based on an
Red Hat and AMD, which have partnered for
a number of years to develop virtualization technology, posted a video on YouTube
of a virtual machine live migration from a server based on a quad-core Intel
Xeon E5420 processor to another machine based on a 65-nanometer AMD
Opteron chip. The demonstration also showed the same virtual machines migrating
between the server based on the 65-nm Opteron processor and a system using the
newer 45-nm "Shanghai"
is expected to release Shanghai
in the coming weeks.
on the chip level is becoming an increasingly important part of processor
and Intel and AMD plan to enhance
the virtualization capabilities of their microprocessors in the next year with
additional technology that will allow for greater use of virtual memory as well
as ways to create virtual I/O.
In the past, virtual machines could move between physical servers that used
the same microprocessors with the help of technology such as VMware's VMotion.
For a number of years, AMD incorporated this
technology into its processors through its AMD-V
technology. At this year's VMworld conference, Intel
demonstrated a new technology with its Xeon 7400 series processors called Flex
which makes it easier to move virtual machines from one
Intel-based system to another.
However, it was considered a long shot that AMD
and Intel, fierce rivals in the x86 processor market, would cooperate to allow
virtual machines to migrate between different systems.
The demonstration that AMD and Red Hat
released Nov. 6 showed that it was at least possible to live-migrate virtual
machines in a controlled environment. Margaret Lewis, AMD's
director of commercial solutions and software strategy, said customers have
been asking for this type of technology but there was no time frame for when it
would be available in the commercial market.