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Paper: Experiences Virtualizing the ALMA Software
Volume: 434, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIX
Page: 477
Authors: Zambrano, M.; Arredondo, D.; Bartsch, M.; Shen, T.; Ibsen, J.; Condorelli, L.; Turolla, S.
Abstract: One of the most exciting subjects in system administration during the last years has been the virtualization of complete systems with all the benefits it implies. Hardware and operative systems are now offering new features that improve the performance of such virtual environments up to a point that nearly matches the real hardware performance. ALMA Software is tested among others in simulation on a controlled standard tests environment (STE). STEs are a set of computers and network hardware. We took an open source hypervisor and made the tools to build, manage and deploy complete copies of virtual STEs, which are used for testing the ALMA Common Software. For many years, ALMA has provided pre-installed virtual machines (VMs) to developers. We took this approach one step further, allowing to run ALMA software in simulation on a fully virtualized STE on a single server. The work we present here shows the goals, scopes and policies for virtualization and the benefits gained from their usage since its adoption in late 2008.
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