Do you dream of being able to spin up ten or twenty (or a thousand) virtual machines in an instant? Discover and repair resource bottlenecks without moving a finger? Dodge the loss of an entire storage array with no-one noticing? Span across data centers with a fleet of virtual machines? This is no sales pitch; during this tutorial, we’ll demonstrate how to leverage truly FOSS tools to build a powerful, scalable cloud that easily competes with those proprietary solutions!

This deep-dive into Xen, Xen Cloud Platform, and other FOSS cloud tools and concepts is intended both for those ready to wholeheartedly embrace virtualization and for those already seasoned in general virtualization practices. You’ll leave with a collection of pre-made tools that you can use right out of the box or modify to your liking. You’ll also leave with immediately useful knowledge on best practices and common pitfalls, presented by actual FOSS practitioners like you.

We begin this tutorial by discussing Xen, Xen Cloud Platform (XCP), and XCP cloud concepts (pools, hosts, storage, networks, etc.). We then explore in detail the API that makes Xen so useful for building a cloud, explore provisioning of hosts and guests using PXE, and discuss templating and installing guest virtual machines. Critical to understanding potential bottlenecks, identifying tuning opportunities and planning for the future, we will discuss performance monitoring and methodologies. Next, we teach you how to make the most of your new FOSS cloud capabilities and discuss in detail high availability infrastructure for storage and networking, advanced networking capabilities like bonding/VLANs, and the cloud orchestration tools that save you time and money. All of this with a focus on XCP in enterprise environments. Tools discussed include DRBD, Pacemaker, Open vSwitch, Cloudstack, Openstack, and more.

We conclude by shedding light on exciting developments: Xen 4.2 has recently been released, with just over a year of development time and nearly 3,000 changesets. We will discuss many of the new features introduced in 4.2, as well as what changes we have in store for the 4.3 release as well as other exciting developments.

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