The open source Xen Project believes it has made it easier than ever to "compile your own cloud" with the release of MirageOS v2.0, which simplifies and optimizes deployment of cloud-based apps running on the Xen virtualization hypervisor.
The aim behind Mirage is to eliminate unnecessary overhead and bloat within cloud infrastructure. "Most applications that run in the cloud aren't optimized to do so," the project's backers said. Rather, they run on top of virtual servers that leave a much larger footprint than they need to run a particular application.
In contrast, Mirage builds cloud applications that essentially are compiled in to the host operating system as part of a "unikernel." This all works because Mirage deploys applications on the Xen virtualization hypervisor, ensuring that the underlying operating system will always be consistent.
In the new, 2.0 release, Mirage offers support for deploying applications to ARM-based devices that support Xen, such as Cubieboard2, as well as to public clouds such as Amazon EC2 and Rackspace. The latest version of Mirage also introduces a number of technical enhancements, including the Irmin Git-like distributed storage system and interoperability with C code, that will make programming and application optimization better.
In light of next-generation virtualization technologies such as Xen or Docker, which takes a somewhat similar approach by deploying apps inside virtual containers, the cloud 1.0 age is waning. The days of traditional, server virtualization à la VMware may well be numbered.