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February 04, 2009


Benjamin Schweizer

It's not that important for Amazon; they have a pretty good team for sure and do not rely on Red Hat therefor. I think they are using RHEL because of everything else (except the hypervisor). So, I don't expect much change soon.

Drue Reeves

Hi Ben,

Thank you for the good comment.

Time will tell on this one, but I wouldn't rule out a switch to something similar like XenServer. A radical hypervisor change (like to Hyper-V or ESX) is probably out of the question.

While Amazon has a good team, economic forces (over a longer period of time) tend to change people's mind. We'll see.

Kristoffer Sheather

Amazon have the resources to build their own minimal customised distribution using KVM as the hypervisor.

Thats the direction I'd be expecting them to take.


We've been using KVM hypervisor for all our VM's and the performance is great. I would expect that Amazon and other clouds will start offering KVM-based services. I believe Rightspace is already offering KVM.


I think Amazon should support both hypervisors, Xen and KVM. KVM is going to win this battle eventually and Amazon should prepare to migrate.

Paras Jethwani

good thread - don't have much to add - time will tell - but this discussion was quite informative


I initially thought this way also.

But then I realized it wasn't the virtualization technology so much as the API's that AWS has created for a "cloud" engineer such as the already published definitions for ami and api mgmt and the tools that AWS provides or 3rd parties provide based on those published API/AMI "standards"... (boto is a great example!)

Does it really matter if a USER 'ec2-run-instances' command starts a VM under KVM or XEN ?

To the USER ... if the windows or linux etc machine starts and is accessible... it probably doesn't matter except for the cost factors which can include HA, live migration, etc. considerations.

So maybe AWS can migrate users somewhat transparently over xen to kvm?

Or AWS "is" IaaS... they could offer separate xen and kvm based services... maybe use the same api/ami definitions and let users choose their environment based on features, & costs.

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