Will LXD Containers on Ubuntu Revolutionize Open Source Virtualization?
Canonical says that LXD, its container-based virtualization solution for Ubuntu, is now the "world's fastest hypervisor" with the release of Linux Containers (LXC) version 2.0, which appeared a few days ago.
Canonical says that LXD, its container-based virtualization solution for Ubuntu, is now the “world’s fastest hypervisor” with the release of Linux Containers (LXC) version 2.0, which appeared a few days ago.
The ability of containers to provide performance improvements over traditional virtualization is one of the main selling points of LXD, as well as competing open source container platforms like Docker. Canonical is playing up that angle hard in the wake of the LXC 2.0 release. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth says that the current version of LXD represents “the biggest change in Linux virtualization in 10 years.”
He added, “Canonical’s kernel and related container work enables a whole new level of performance and density for Linux virtualization in private cloud and server consolidation initiatives.”
It’s not only out-performing traditional hypervisors that Canonical sees as one of the chief selling points of LXD. The platform also offers functionality that other container-based virtualization solutions, namely Docker, don’t. That’s because Docker provides containers to run only individual applications, while LXD “machine containers” can host a complete guest OS.
In this respect, Canonical sees LXD as a complement, rather than a competitor, to Docker, since Docker application containers can run on top of LXD machine containers. “The two types of containers, machine containers and application containers, work well together,” Canonical said in announcing the LXC 2.0 release. “It is possible to use app containers inside LXD machine containers just as you would on a VM.”
So far, the container craze has centered mostly on Docker. But Canonical’s effort to develop a different approach to containers could serve it well as enterprise adoption of container-based virtualization accelerates — particularly because LXD can help to make cloud hosting infrastructure more efficient than alternatives based on traditional hypervisors.