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[20100908] Funded project "Xen Paravirtualized Multi Processor Support", AKA what's missing to get full NetBSD support for Amazon's EC2 cloud
Matthias Scheler writes on behalf of NetBSD's technical (core@) and administrative (board@) project leadership that ``the i386 and amd64 ports of NetBSD both offer extensive support for the Xen Hypervisor. This includes running a NetBSD kernel in paravirtualised (PV) mode as the dom0 (the virtual machine instance controlling the hardware of the host system) and domU (a normal virtual instance). Support for paravirtualization is mandatory for dom0 and greatly improves performance of a domU as no hardware emulation is required. Paravirtualization also allows using Xen on CPUs without hardware virtualization support.

At the moment NetBSD doesn't support using multiple CPUs (or CPU cores) when it runs in paravirtualised mode. This is not only a severe performance limitation on modern x86 hardware it also makes NetBSD a suboptimal platform for use on Amazon EC2 service (which uses images of paravirtualized Xen domU systems).

The Core team and the Board of the NetBSD project have created the attached specification for funded development to add Xen Paravirtualized Multi Processor Support to NetBSD. If you are interested in realizing this project send a proposal to core@ and board@, please.''

In case it's not clear: the project is open to everyone, not only to the current NetBSD developers community. All interested parties can submit project proposals! This new concept of "funded projects" can be considered similar to the projects student work on during Google's "Summer of Code", only that payment is done via The NetBSD Foundation, and with some other minor changes in rules.

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