In a surprising turn of events, Amazon has quietly edited its FAQ section where it revealed it has created a new KVM based hypervisor that it will use instead of Xen for future instances.
The cloud giant had revealed this when announcing the new C5 instance earlier this week.
Basically, as Jeff Barr put it, this new hypervisor was designed to provide better performance than the previous one, and also came with a few new features that made it an ideal choice for these compute heavy C5 instances.
“The new hypervisor allows us to give you access to all of the processing power provided by the host hardware, while also making performance even more consistent and further raising the bar on security.”
Barr had promised more information at the AWS re:Invent conference later this month in Las Vegas, but enough details were provided regarding this new solution.
For example, instances using this new hypervisor were able to boot from EBS volumes using an NVMe interface, while Xen booted from an emulated IDE hard drive. Another difference with KVM was that operating systems were able to identify when they were running under a hypervisor.
Though for the most part, apps ran the same way under both hypervisors.
The company will continue to offer Xen based hypervisors for instances, but eventually all new instance types will now use this new EC2 hypervisor.
In any case, AWS has made a stealth edit to its FAQ page, which now contains no mention of this new hypervisor. The original announcement still does, but this much is clear that the company is erasing the evidence for one reason or another.
Hopefully, we find out what’s up, soon.