Saturday, June 4, 2011

Run Hypervisors on Bare Metal Thanks to MokaFive - ReadWriteCloud

Run Hypervisors on Bare Metal Thanks to MokaFive

by Klint Finley,
May 25th 2011 6:01 AM

This post is part of our ReadWriteCloud channel, which is dedicated to covering virtualization and cloud computing. The channel is sponsored by Intel and VMware. Read the white paper about how Intel Xeon processors help organizations get unprecedented levels of performance.

Today MokaFive announced the release BareMetal, a new hypervisor that runs on, well, bare metal. That is, BareMetal serves as both host OS and hypervisor. It requires only 2GB of RAM and a 64-bit CPU.

This approach has two main benefits: 1) Every machine in the BareMetal fleet can be managed from a single console since the host OS has been cut out. 2) Powerful virtual machines can be run from lower end equipment.

When the product was first announced last year, the company told The Register that it was based on a popular Linux distribution, but wouldn't disclose which one. The company has essentially taken an existing Linux distro and ripped everything out of it that wasn't required to make the hypervisor run.

Citrix also offers a bare metal virtualization platform called XenClient, but it requires a system with Intel vPro in order to run.

BareMetal reminds me of the Mirage kernal, a custom kernal designed for cloud computing. Instead of running a hypervisor on bare metal, Mirage attempts to cut the unnecessary fat out of a virtual stack. If your running a virtual server, do you really need all those hardware drivers?

Which makes me wonder - what if you ran Mirage on the BareMetal hypervisor? Combining these approaches could eventually lead to some very lean systems.

MokaFive, best known for its MokaFive Suite product, has focused on providing solutions for client-side virtualization instead of server-side virtualization. According to The Register, MokaFive licenses technology from VMware, and based its original image packaging system on VMware Player. MokaFive's images, called LivePCs, are compatible with VMware player.

Our previous coverage of the company is here.


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