Alibaba Shows Open Source Support by Joining The Linux Foundation and Xen Advisory Board

Aliyun uses Xen to power its cloud computing offering

David Hamilton

August 13, 2015

3 Min Read
Alibaba Shows Open Source Support by Joining The Linux Foundation and Xen Advisory Board
Alibaba headquarters in Hangshou, China. (Image: Alibaba)



This article originally appeared at The WHIR

Online retailer and cloud computing provider Alibaba has joined the Linux Foundation as a silver member, and its cloud computing subsidiary, Aliyun, is a new advisory board member of the open-source Xen hypervisor project, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation.

Xen is used by some of the largest clouds in production today. Aliyun joins other advisory board members, including Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, and Verizon. Members donate financial support, technical contributions, and high-level policy guidance.

Aliyun uses Xen to power its cloud computing offering. According to its Thursday announcement, Aliyun had already been contributing vulnerability fixes to the Xen project for some time, and will continue to use Xen virtualization to run different operating systems and applications off the same physical infrastructure.

“As an advisory board member, Aliyun is looking forward to deeper interaction and collaboration with the Xen Project board and community,” Aliyun CTO Wensong Zhang said in a statement. “We have been working with Linux for a long time, and Xen virtualization is increasingly important to enhancing our cloud and marketplace technology offerings in China and abroad.”

Xen Project advisory board Chairman Lars Kurth said, “With cloud computing still in its infancy in China, Aliyun’s support is a gateway for major growth in Asia for Xen Project virtualization.”

Also announced Thursday, Alibaba joined the Linux Foundation along with container-based solutions provider DCHQ, Taiwan-based chip supplier MediaTek, payment provider PayPal and Chinese Linux software provider Wuhan Deepin Technology.

Wuhan Deepin Technology specializes in Linux R&D and develops software based on Linux technology, and produces Deepin, a Linux-based operating system. With nearly a million users across more than 50 countries, Deepin is the first Chinese OS with real overseas influence.

Linux Foundation CMO Amanda McPherson remarked on how Linux is being used worldwide for a range of purposes, and that contributions also reflect its international scope. “There are more first-time contributors and paid developers than ever, contributing to how fast Linux is built,” she stated. “Our new members reflect just how importance, significance and wide reaching Linux is today. From central China and Taiwan, no corner of the world is untouched by Linux.”

The Linux Foundation has been very active in recent months fostering collaboration on a range of technologies between a variety of stakeholders including independent developers and companies.

Last year, the Linux Foundation announced it would be hosting Open Platform for NFV, a project aimed at standardizing a way of virtualizing entire networks. Last month, it began hosting the Cloud Native Computing Foundation whose task is to validate reference architectures for integrating various technologies built on top of Docker containers.

The presence of more Asian organizations within open-source projects in general adds new perspectives and useful technical knowledge. It also helps add legitimacy to initiatives like the Linux Foundation, which are aimed at building bridges between stakeholders worldwide to produce better technology. And forming these connections between companies in the cloud space is especially remarkable given that many of the companies involved are and continue to be fierce competitors – even if they contribute to the same projects.

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