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The Linux Kernel column #90 � the state of the kernel

Aug 05, 2010, 16:36 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jon Masters)


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"The past year has seen a lot of work on enterprise-level features. This isn't too surprising as several of the major vendors work on new products based around the 2.6.32 kernel. Among the new bits were performance enhancements (it's now possible to apply more fine-grained limits on I/O bandwidth to different running programs, thanks to the blkio cgroup I/O controller work), scalability improvements (it's now possible to use over 4,096 CPUs) and a huge amount of progress in the virtualisation space. On that latter point, there were too many developments to fully summarise, but they included an in-kernel virtualised network server to aid performance, and new support for detecting identical regions of memory in guest machines in order to share a single copy, which can reduce overall memory usage considerably.

"Embedded systems have seen a lot of action too. Support was added for Intel's Moorsetown platform, which is x86-based but is not compatible with the PC standard (it is intended for use in low-power embedded gadgets). Thomas Gleixner aptly stated that this indicated "the arrival of the embedded nightmare to arch/x86". There was also the addition of new – and very aggressive – power management features that allow for the selective shutdown of buses that are not in use in order to save power, and support for faster suspend and resume of the overall system through parallelisation."

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