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XEN Advice

Posted on 2007-04-07
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I am looking for anyone that can give me some solid advice on setting up XEN for clustering... I want to do a failover redundancy for production with Virtual Servers.  I am hearing really, really good things about XEN.  I've initially tried setting this up with CentOS Linux, and it did not work.  However, I heard from a good source that this will work great with Debian sid Linux.  Any experiential advise on setup of this with clustering options would be greatly appreciated.  The most thorough answer receives the points.
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Question by:born4code
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by:slyong
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CentOS 4.x has a bit of work to be done before you can get Xen up and running.  However, the situation changed in CentOS 5 (which is in beta now).  Have a look at this url http://www.montanalinux.org/learning-a-little-xen.html and you can see that it is easy to install.
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ShineOn earned 500 total points
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Virtualization and failover redundancy for production servers, but you're using a community-supported distro.   Sure, it's based on RHEL, but it's still community-supported.  Plus, since they have to wait for RHEL releases before building theirs, they're quite a bit behind.  CentOS 4 is based on RHEL 4 and CentOS 5 is going to be based on RHEL5, which was just released...  Debian also is community-supported unless you want to pay for a Debian consultant.

My company wouldn't go for that.   Both the community support model and the CentOS lag behind RHEL, which is behind to begin with as far as XEN is concerned.  Don't even know if Debian 4 (etch) has a XEN enabled kernel - their support links are down ATM.

SuSE Linux Enterprise 10 was the first with XEN support built into the kernel.  RedHat Enterprise has finally caught up, with RHEL5.  Looking forward to SLES10 SP1 which should have signifigant advances in XEN functionality and feature set including support for full virtualization of Windows on the Intel VT architecture.  It has both Linux-on-Linux and Windows-on-Linux virtualization capability.  SLES10 SP1 is at RC1 status now.  It will have full native virtualization capability.  The current version does paravirtualized guests, unless you use a third-party tool like VMware for Xen, or maybe the not-free Xensource products.

From http://www.novell.com/collaboration/clustering.html :
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SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 is the first enterprise-class Linux server to:

    * Fully support Xen 3.0 virtualization on both 32- and 64-bit x86-based architectures.
    * Offer support for both paravirtualization through the Xen hypervisor and full virtualization support through partners like VMware for Xen 3.0
    * Support both Intel* VT and AMD Virtualization* (AMD-V*) chipsets. In fact SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 is the first operating system of any type to support Intel VT and AMD-V.
    * Offer fully graphical and command-line virtual machine management tools for easy VM administration and configuration.
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Whether you agree or not with the Novell/Microsoft deal, you can't deny it's bearing fruit in the virtualization game already.

For more info on virtualization in SLES10, go to http://www.novell.com/linux/virtualization/

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