Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017. Read them in this 9th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed by Stefano Stabellini and James Bulpin, Xen Project Members
The Growth and Changes of the Hypervisor in 2017 and More
Embedded systems become virtualized, IoT security concerns continue and the container community diversifies
Xen Project hypervisor is an open source project under the Linux
Foundation focused on advancing virtualization in a number of different
commercial and open source applications including server virtualization,
Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS), desktop virtualization, security
applications, embedded and hardware appliances.
used by more than 10 million users and is a foundational component of
some of the biggest clouds today, including Alibaba's Aliyun Cloud
Services, Amazon Web Services, IBM Softlayer, Tencent, Rackspace and
Oracle, to name a few. As the technology landscape changes, the
hypervisor is beginning to emerge in new uses cases beyond the
traditional server virtualization and IaaS clouds.
this predictions piece, two members of the Xen Project, Stefano
Stabellini and James Bulpin, provide insight on where the hypervisor is
going in 2017 and other virtualization and infrastructure trends to
watch out for in 2017.
What are a few of your general virtualization and infrastructure predictions for 2017?
We will see enterprises further embrace various types of public cloud
as fears about cloud security are allayed. We will see "hybrid"
solutions with a combination of cloud based management, access and
hosting of general purpose applications, with on-premises data storage
and hosting of more sensitive, and hard-to-move legacy applications.
will tend to rebuild applications in a more cloud-centric manner, such
as using a combination of SaaS applications and services and
"serverless" architectures, rather than the wholesale moving of VMs from
on-premises virtualization platforms to IaaS clouds.
Docker forks will gain traction under the Open Container Initiative
umbrella, providing users with a choice of multiple containers runtimes.
The approach of running cloud native apps as virtual machines will
become well-known. Although Docker will stay in the lead for next year,
one of the alternatives will grow a multi-vendor community. Kubernetes
will be the top Open Source project of 2017, ahead of OpenStack and
Do you see virtualization seeping into any particular use cases (whether they are new or expanding)?
While cheap IoT devices will still be built and sold without
considerations for security, virtualization will make its way into
security sensitive embedded market sectors, such as the transportation
industries, medical and high-end IoT devices. Open source and
proprietary hypervisors alike will be used to isolate multiple
components from each other on the same SoC.
Virtualization, in the hypervisor sense, will become a core part of
several new use-cases and solutions. However, the hypervisor will become
a somewhat hidden component rather than occupying the very visible
position it has in server virtualization and IaaS clouds. For example,
we'll see increased use of virtualization to isolate applications and
services on client devices, such as Microsoft's Virtualization Based
Security. In a similar manner we'll also see a continued growth in
interest in combining the hardware-assisted isolation aspects of
hypervisors with container runtime environments. In both cases this is
bringing hypervisor-style isolation directly to the applications.
also see a number of embedded systems become virtualized, partly due to
the growing capabilities of low power devices from Intel and ARM as
well as the ongoing drive to reduce costs and power consumption.
Use-cases that will benefit from this will include automotive
infotainment, navigation and delivery management systems; non
safety-critical aviation systems; and low-cost multi-tenant satellites.
challenges of IoT security, and the proliferation of hub and gateway
devices, will generate interest in secure, tamper-proof, virtualized
edge devices for domestic and commercial IoT use-cases.
same fundamental factors that drove server virtualization will drive
these new use-cases: consolidation of workloads onto a smaller set of
hardware to reduce costs, power and space usage; abstraction of the
hardware to allow applications to be decoupled from hardware specifics;
and the benefit of hardware-based isolation to better protect against
software defects and to contain failures.
What are the biggest security concerns in 2017?
The poor status of IoT security will allow malicious attackers to take
over increasingly large botnets to perform deadly DDOS attacks. Anything
from CCTV cameras to smart light bulbs will be used as vectors. We'll
see half a dozen very high profile websites taken down at critical times
over the next year. Even major public clouds will be affected.
Hypervisors, operating systems, and other infrastructure will continue
to be a target for hackers however increasing maturity in these
technologies, coupled with easier opportunities in IoT and
poorly-secured cloud-based applications, will mean that many hackers,
particularly opportunistic ones, move towards these softer targets. We
will see several large-scale attacks launched from compromised IoT
devices or targeting IoT devices themselves.
About the Authors
Bulpin is architect and technology director in the Citrix Core
Infrastructure Group. He works on virtualization, cloud and IoT
projects. James sits on the Xen Project advisory board and oversees a
number of open-source engagements within Citrix. James has been in the
virtualization and systems community for many years having previously
worked at XenSource, Inc. and the University of Cambridge's Systems
Research Group. Follow James on Twitter: @jamesbulpin
Stabellini serves as virtualization expert and Linux kernel lead at
Aporeto, a VC funded early stage start-up in the Bay Area. Previously,
as Senior Principal Software Engineer in Citrix, he led a small group of
passionate engineers working on Open Source projects. Stefano has been
involved in Xen development since 2007. He created libxenlight in
November 2009 and started the Xen port to ARM with virtualization
extensions in 2011. Today he is a Xen Project committer, and he
maintains Xen on ARM and Xen support in Linux and QEMU. Follow Stefano
on Twitter: @stabellinist