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Erlang on Xen



Almost everything and everyone is moving into the cloud. The most recent popular announcement was probably made by Sony during last week’s PlayStation meeting in New York. They presented their vision of having their content available for customers anytime and anywhere.

Movies and Music certainly is already available as a streaming service, but Sony seems to be heading to also add games to their online portfolio – mainly thanks to the acquisition of Gaikai in the summer of last year.

Creating a cloud service is a big task in itself, especially if the underlying infrastructure has to be managed as well. Furthermore, resources are not only consumed by the developed application alone, but by the operating system it runs upon as well. This is where Erlang can jump in with a major advantage.

Under erlangonxen.org, a virtual machine can be downloaded for Amazon EC2. With it Erlang runs directly on the Xen Hypervisor; no resource-hungry operating system between the machine and the application that slows you down. The biggest benefit comes in the faster boot-up speeds of instances: In a case example it is stated that an instance on Erlang on Xen takes only a mere 100ms startup time, compared to a massive 20s of a traditional VM on Amazon EC2.

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