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Virtual HA targets lower-end networking equipment

May 5, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

VirtualLogix announced a high-availability (HA) option for its Linux-friendly, real-time, embedded virtualization technology for carrier infrastructure. The “vHA” version of VLX for Network Infrastructure (VLX-NI) provides fault recovery and system management services across virtual and physical domains, and aims to extend HA into lower-end commodity device markets.

VirtualLogix says that currently, cost and time constraints limit HA adoption to network core processes. It hopes VLX vHA will help spring HA out of the core, and into simpler, single multicore systems with lesser HA requirements. VLX vHA's target uses include security appliances, traffic switches, and storage and WiFi equipment.

VLX-NI, which was recently rev'd to version 3.0, enables simultaneous operation of multiple operating systems (OSes) — typically Linux and a real-time OS (RTOS) — for performance-critical telecom and datacom applications. VirtualLogix claims that VLX-NI helps reduce bill-of-material costs while encouraging legacy OS/application reuse, software failure containment, resource utilization, and license segregation. Last month, VirtualLogix demonstrated a PowerPC version of VLX-NI.

VLX vHA in high-end multiple multicore environment
(Click to enlarge)

VLX vHA offers scalable fault recovery and system management services across virtual and physical domains, says VirtualLogix. Meanwhile, hardware and guest OS management features as well as application restart from a known state are said to provide greater flexibility in managing HA systems and controlling availability levels. Because it supports standard Service Availability Forum (SAF) interfaces, the new environment can easily be fitted with existing SAF-compliant HA software, says the company.

VLX vHA in lower-end, single multicore environment

As with the company's other VLX products, VLX-NI comprises a small scheduler that enables guest OSes to access physical hardware subsystems directly, rather than through the emulated hardware devices used by many desktop and server virtualization technologies. The company also offers a VLX-MH (“Mobile Handset”) version of it software, which has been used by Purple Labs in its Purple Magic reference design. There is also a VLX-DM (“Digital Media”) version designed for set-top boxes (STBs), primarily running on DaVinci-based processors from Texas Instruments (TI).

VLX vHA working with third-party SAF-compliant middleware
(Click to enlarge)

VirtualLogix has received equity investments from TI, as well as, more recently, from Motorola. Other investors include VirtualLogix partner Intel, which joined with Esprit Capital Partners, Atlas Venture, and Index Ventures in a $16 million equity investment last July.

VLX-NI 3.0 architecture

Stated Mark Milligan, VP of Marketing at VirtualLogix, “There are growing requirements to increase the up-time of all types of communications equipment in today's competitive environment. Now, VLX vHA enables our customers to take full advantage of high availability combined with virtualization.”


VirtualLogix did not provide pricing or availability information on VLX vHA for VLX for Network Infrastructure. More information may be available here.

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