[STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

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[STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

Rebecca Walter

We have a request from management to standardize our terminology for
virtualization technology.  They, with input from in-house experts, propose
the following terminology.  Does anyone know of any reason these terms should
not become the standard? I need feedback by the end of the day on 4 June so I
can get back to management about implementation. If there are no objections,
we can start standardizing on these terms immediately.




"virtual host server"--A system running virtualization software that makes it
able to host virtual machines.

"NetWare virtual machine"

"management virtual machine"--The virtual machine used to control the other
virtual machines.

"hypervisor"--The monitor for virtual machines.

"virtual machine"--Not domain or guest.
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Re: [STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

Alexey Eromenko
Hi Rebecca !

On 6/1/07, Rebecca Walter <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> We have a request from management to standardize our terminology for
> virtualization technology.  They, with input from in-house experts, propose
> the following terminology.  Does anyone know of any reason these terms should
> not become the standard? I need feedback by the end of the day on 4 June so I
> can get back to management about implementation. If there are no objections,
> we can start standardizing on these terms immediately.
>

I'm happy that we want to propose a standard, but I already wrote a
document with respective terms, here:

http://forgeftp.novell.com/lfl/.html/virtualization.html

Please read it.

>
> "virtual host server"--A system running virtualization software that makes it
> able to host virtual machines.
> "management virtual machine"--The virtual machine used to control the other
> virtual machines.

What's the difference between the two ?
I my terminology, I refer to them as "Host"

> "NetWare virtual machine"

Agreed. I call this as VM or Guest.

> "hypervisor"--The monitor for virtual machines.

Agreed. Sometimes I call this "VMM, virtual machine monitor", or
"virtualizer". "hyperviser" is OK.

> "virtual machine"--Not domain or guest.

Domains are specific to Xen, but not to virtualization in general. My
article doesn't describe domains at all.
If there is a way to make term generic, Please *don't* make terms,
that are Xen specific.
Only if there is no such way, we'll invent the new Xen-specific term.

Can we find a lowest common denominator to both out documents ?

Rebecca, I believe that SUSE should not be Xen-centric. Instead of
choosing Xen-only strategy, we should take into account different
emerging virtualization technologies.
My article describes that as well.
Xen is just one of many. While it works for some cases, it cannot be
applied to all cases.

I would like to speak with your virtualization team to explain this to
them, and push alternative technologies into openSUSE. I'm
particularly interested in VirtualBox and OpenVZ, and I'm interested
in overall good SUSE infrastructure to integrate other virtualization
technologies as they emerge.
I want to help make SUSE ready for virtualization at different levels.

Can you drop me emails of those virtualization guys at Novell ?

--
-Alexey Eremenko "Technologov"
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Re: [STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

jdd@dodin.org
In reply to this post by Rebecca Walter
Rebecca Walter wrote:

(ok for me)

> "virtual machine"--Not domain or guest.

we shall make a difference between the virtual machine, that is the
computer, and the guest, that is the operating system intalled on it
(at least I see this on VMWare)

Host: my physical computer
Virtual machine 1, virtual machine 2 two different (virtualized) computers
guest: Linux, XP, W98, dos, freebsd...

jdd


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Re: [STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

Rebecca Walter

> > "virtual machine"--Not domain or guest.
>
> we shall make a difference between the virtual machine, that is the
> computer, and the guest, that is the operating system intalled on it
> (at least I see this on VMWare)
>
> Host: my physical computer

virtual machine server would be this one.

> Virtual machine 1, virtual machine 2 two different (virtualized) computers
> guest: Linux, XP, W98, dos, freebsd...

there wouldn't be "guest" used here, if I have understood properly.  It would
be a virtual machine running whatever OS.
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Re: [STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

jdd@dodin.org
Rebecca Walter wrote:

>> Virtual machine 1, virtual machine 2 two different (virtualized) computers
>> guest: Linux, XP, W98, dos, freebsd...
>
> there wouldn't be "guest" used here, if I have understood properly.  It would
> be a virtual machine running whatever OS.

I think the "guest" concept is important, mostly if the host OS and
the virtual machine OS are the same.

It's difficult to say anytime "openSUSE 10.3 on the host", "openSUSE
10.3 on the virtual machine"

in fact, I don't know what make difference between various guests fir
the virtual machine, but as VMware as Virtual box asks for what guest
you want at creation time (even is you can change mind afterward)

jdd

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Re: [STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

Alexey Eromenko
According to my basic terminology:
*Host

    Your real computer, on which the emulator/virtualizer software runs.

Host means both your real hardware and the operating system that
controls that hardware.
In some cases there can be only hardware without operating system,
like VMware ESX.

The term "Host" describes both hardware and OS.

This can be devided to:
*Host Hardware - your real hardware
*Host Operating System - the operating system that controls that real hardware.

*Guest (also known as VM=Virtual Machine)

    Your emulated computer, virtual machine, or VM for short, this is
what you are trying to emulate. Your target. It can be the same, or
very different from your real system.

    For example, your host can be a Pentium III PC, while your guest
can be a Sony Playstation. Of course, VirtualBox cannot emulate
Playstations, so look at different software. It's just important that
you understand those two basic concepts.

-This means both your virtual hardware _and_ an operating system that
runs on your virtual hardware.

This can be devided to:
Guest Hardware   - your virtual hardware              (can be
anything, let's as wild as Playstation, for emulation case - usually
this would be x86 PC)
Guest Operating System - your OS, that runs on the virtual hardware.
   (can be anything, let's as wild as Playstation BIOS - but usually
this would be Windows or Linux OS)

*Hyperviser/Virtualizer
Software that does (Full/Para) virtualization.

*Hypercall
Just like there are system calls, For para-virtual cases there are
hyper calls. Actually a language between the para-virtualizer
(hyperviser) and guest.
Other types of virtualization doesn't use hypercalls.

Your term "virtual machine server" would be confusing. This is because
the "server" term has usually something to do with networking, while
virtualization can work nicely without networks, listening TCP ports,
etc...
Let's leave the term "server" to the programs that listen to TCP ports.
Now if I understand you correctly, your term "virtual machine server"
equals to my term "Host hardware" or "Host".

Additionally, those terms I just described are a LOT shorter than your
terms, plus they are more accurate.
It's a lot better to have accurate and short terms at once.

--
-Alexey Eremenko "Technologov"
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Re: [STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

jdd@dodin.org
Alexey Eremenko wrote:

> anything, let's as wild as Playstation, for emulation case - usually
> this would be x86 PC)

usually, not necessarily, gamebox emulators are prosent for age here :-)

good guess to don't forget them :-)

jdd

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Re: [STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

Rebecca Walter
In reply to this post by Rebecca Walter
While I respect the concerns expressed by the community so far, I don't think
these outweigh the advantages seen by our experts.  I don't think "virtual
host server" is more complicated than the other server terms we use
regularly.  Virtual machine is definitely easier than what we've used in the
past.  Although it sounds a bit wordy at first, "management virtual machine"
does make sense and has a good meaning.

So as soon as my schedule permits, I will add these terms to the style guide.  

Marcus, in the future, the project would appreciate it if you let us know
earlier in the process so we could be more involved in the discussion.


> "virtual host server"--A system running virtualization software that makes
> it able to host virtual machines.
>
> "NetWare virtual machine"
>
> "management virtual machine"--The virtual machine used to control the other
> virtual machines.
>
> "hypervisor"--The monitor for virtual machines.
>
> "virtual machine"--Not domain or guest.
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Re: [STYLE] Virtualization Terminology

Thomas R. Jones
On Wed, 2007-06-06 at 08:45 +0200, Rebecca Walter wrote:

> While I respect the concerns expressed by the community so far, I don't think
> these outweigh the advantages seen by our experts.  I don't think "virtual
> host server" is more complicated than the other server terms we use
> regularly.  Virtual machine is definitely easier than what we've used in the
> past.  Although it sounds a bit wordy at first, "management virtual machine"
> does make sense and has a good meaning.
>
> So as soon as my schedule permits, I will add these terms to the style guide.  
>
> Marcus, in the future, the project would appreciate it if you let us know
> earlier in the process so we could be more involved in the discussion.
Rebecca,

I know that I have come into this conversation a little late but I felt
it needed discussion. I noticed throughout existing suse/novell
documentation, with regard to virtual technology, that there seems to be
a lack of definition with regards to the the types of VMMs. This is a
very important issue to the end-user due to the inherent impact of the
handling of resources within the VMM. e.g. type I and type II

Type I: standalone, for example mainframes
Type II: hosted, for example VMWare, Xen

Thanks.
Thomas R. Jones
>
>

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