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Xen Definition

Advanced – Computing

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Here’s the Xen definition: It’s an open-source hypervisor software developed and maintained by the Xen Project community. Xen is a Type 1 or bare-metal hypervisor that allows you to run multiple operating systems on host computers to enable virtualization. Xen lets you share hardware resources of the same computer among multiple operating systems concurrently. The multiple operating systems can be run on the same hardware resources.

Xen operates directly above the hardware layer and below the operating system of the host computer. It creates a virtualization layer on top of the operating system where the virtual machines can be created. Xen directly manages and links the hardware resources with the virtual machines. Xen hypervisor is responsible for CPU scheduling, memory partitioning, control, and execution of virtual machines.

The features of Xen

These are some of the features of the Xen hypervisor.

  • Dom0 – Xen launches a virtual machine called Dom0. Dom0 is the only virtual machine that has direct access to hardware by default and it provides a tool stack to create, destruct, and configure virtual machines.
  • Small footprints – Xen comes with a small microkernel and it provides a limited guest interface Hence it is more secure and robust.
  • Driver Isolation – Xen can isolate divers on multiple virtual machines. This helps you to avoid crashing multiple drivers when one driver breaks down.
  • Paravirtualization – Xen provides modified guest OS that is similar to the underlying software interface or hardware that can make calls to hypervisors for resources, storage, and CPU access.

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