[libvirt] libvirt vs XenAPI

Daniel P. Berrange berrange at redhat.com
Mon Sep 1 09:23:05 UTC 2008

On Mon, Sep 01, 2008 at 10:59:09AM +0200, atif bajwa wrote:
> I am looking to integrate the Xen Management. Please guide me advantages of
> using libvirt over XenAPI and please list xen-based-hypervisor
> distributions(versions) that will be supported with libvirt. And what is
> future of libvirt as XenSource is more focused on XenAPI.

There are many benefits to using libvirt instead of XenAPI

 - Avoids your application being locked into a particular hypervisor
   allowing you to port your application to KVM, OpenVZ, LXC (native Linux
   containers) and any hypervisor supported by libvirt in future

 - livirt works with every version of Xen 3.0.x or later, XenAPI is
   only usable in Xen 3.1.0 and later and thus not available in some
   distros such as RHEL-5/CentOS-5

 - The same API can be used both locally, and remotely. Local access
   is highly efficient making direct hypercalls whereever possible
   giving order of magnitude better response time than XenAPI.

 - Remote access can be secured using SSL + x509 certificates, SSH
   tunnel, Kerberos GSSAPI single sign on, username + password

 - Guarenteed stable API, so applications written against libvirt
   will continue to work indefinitely into the future

There's probably more points I can come up with, but that's enough for now.

As for the future, libvirt is now available in every major Linux distro,
and used by a wide range of tools developed by numerous companies & has
contributors from across the open source community, both independant and
vendor sponsered. There is an ever increasing set of language bindings for
the API (Python, Perl, Java, OCaml, Ruby) and mappings into the CIM / DMTF
framework for virtualzation, and new work to provide an AMQP binding. And 
of course this is also ongoing work to expand the API functionality and add
new hypervisor drivers. There's a healthy todo list of ideas we'll be
addressing over the next year or so...


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