Book: The Book of Xen: A Practical Guide for the System Administrator
Publisher: No Starch Press
Virtualization is cool. I’ve always had a soft spot for virtualization, since as a lifelong sysadmin I get pretty tired of the endless fine-tuning that goes into building a successful network “host.” Especially when that fine-tuning evolves into upgrades involving screwdrivers, recabling, and dust.While Xen wasn’t the first serious virtualization platform, it was the first serious open source virtualization platform, so it was the first that I was willing to invest my time in learning about, and the first I’d consider basing any production-level systems on. Open source isn’t just a preference for me—I dislike lock-in, so I hardly ever buy or deploy or depend on something that I couldn’t replace with a different product offered by a competing vendor sometime in the future.Like any serious open source system, Xen has the power of an ecosystem in which anybody who wants to vend can pick a spot and start hacking, but Xen also has the backing of a strong company whose employees contribute to the open source version of their product. This kind of vertical openness makes it possible for anyone (a hobbyist or a Fortune 500 company) to jump into Xen, buy only what they want or need (or just get it all for free), and have it remain compatible with the rest of the ecosystem. Thank you, XenSource and Citrix, for all this.Confession time: I don’t use Xen for any of my personal projects. I just don’t have enough systems in any one location, nor can I plan far enough in advance—I’m too small to be able to afford virtualization’s efficiencies.