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AMD Hardware

AMD Demos Live Migration Across Three Opterons 25

Posted by timothy
from the which-walnut-under-which-cup dept.
bigwophh writes "Advanced Micro Devices has just revealed to the public the first video and images demonstrating live migration across three generations of AMD Opteron processors on VMware ESX 3.5, including the six-core AMD Opteron processor, often referred to as 'Istanbul.' For those unaware of the strains in a server environment, live migration of virtual machines across physical servers is crucial to providing flexibility for managing data centers. AMD is also taking this opportunity to highlight its continued, cooperative development efforts with Microsoft as evidenced in Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, which just also happens to be available today in beta form, that adds support for AMD-V technology with Rapid Virtualization Indexing."
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AMD Demos Live Migration Across Three Opterons

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  • VMWare ESX has been able to do live migrations for a while now. I'm not sure what makes the Opteron special in this regard.

    • by Enry (630)

      Xen supports live migrations too. Not sure what the big deal is.

    • Re:Nothing new? (Score:5, Informative)

      by rachit (163465) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @04:13PM (#27334551)

      What is new is live migration across different CPU generations.

      I believe its using some features in the newer CPUs to turn off certain features / CPUID bits such that all CPUs look the same to the guest OS / applications running on top of it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, the CPU features (the CPUID bits) are masked out with ESX, your can fine-tune this in the settings of every VM.

    • Re:Nothing new? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Domint (1111399) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @04:15PM (#27334569) Homepage Journal
      The crucial part is the 'across three generations' bit - I can tell you from first hand experience that VMWare ESX has problems performing live migrations across CPUs with different steppings even within the same generation, so the fact that AMD pulled it off across 3 distinct generations without having to utilize cobbed-together solutions like EVC is a pretty big deal. Or, at least it is to me.
      • without having to utilize cobbed-together solutions like EVC

        I was just about to say 'EVC' when I got that part of your post. The thing is if you are already running EVC, then it doesn't matter much. The hard part of EVC is getting the first couple of hosts running. Once that's going, EVC is cake.

      • by Natales (182136)

        It's not that ESX has issues. It's that the Guest OS is flat out not designed for "something" to change your CPU on the fly, which is the way the guest sees it... In fact we (yes, I work for VMware) used to allow that back in the ESX 2.0 days, but the guest bluescreened/panicked after a while as the microcode is loaded at boot time. The only way we can pull these tricks today is by masking some specific instructions of newer chip generations vs. the previous ones. Hard, but not rocket science. Get me a gues

        • Get me a guest that adapt to those changes live and you'll have what you want...

          Generally speaking, Linux distros will move between different processors as long as they are the same generation...x86-64 will move to other x86-64s, for instance.

    • by WaxMan0 (1417015)
      Pretty certian the is marketing bumpf, Is this not what the AMD-v and intels equivilent (cant remember of the op of my head) allow. Realy wish i kept my sources to refernace but from what i remember the different levels of virtuilisation include emulation where the complete pc is emulated and the OS sees this as a native hardware this is the Slow method and used by older desktop virtual pc applications. Another 2 one of which I have completely forgotten the other uses a set of cpu instructions to allow t
  • Yay? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eln (21727) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @04:11PM (#27334505) Homepage

    They can call me when they've demonstrated seamless live migration between Intel and AMD chips, not just generations of their own hardware. Nobody wants to build a large-scale cloud if they're going to be locked to one vendor forever once they get started.

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