University of Toronto Announces Snowflock

Andres Lagar-Cavilla wrote in to announce the news that he and his team have just released Snowflock.

Snowflock lets you clone Xen VMs into dozens of identical replicas running in different hosts. Snowflock can do this in less than a second and with very low runtime overhead. With Snowflock you can, for example,  perform parallel computations on the fly by scaling ”instantaneously” your computing footprint in a shared cluster. Snowflock is a research prototype, hence the 0.1 major-minor. A minimum degree of experience with Xen and Linux is necessary to use the system.

Snowflock is the joined work of researchers at both the the Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto and at Carnegie Mellon University. Snowflock has been released in a binary and source release, under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The release is available at

Snowflock was presented earlier this year at the Xen Summit North America 2008. A more complete description of the implementation and functionality of Snowflock is available in this technical report.

About the author

Kris Buytaert is a long time Linux and Open Source Consultant active in Belgium , Europe and the rest of the universe. He is currently working for Inuits Kris is the Co-Author of Virtualization with Xen ,used to be the maintainer of the openMosix HOWTO and author of different technical publications. He is frequently speaking at, or organizing different international conferences He spends most of his time working on Linux Clustering (both High Availability, Scalability and HPC), Virtualisation and Large Infrastructure Management projects hence trying to build infrastructures that can survive the 10th floor test, better known today as the cloud while actively promoting the devops idea ! His blog titled "Everything is a Freaking DNS Problem" can be found at

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