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Connect xen guest vm to xen host SAN storage

Posted on 2009-05-08
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Is it possible to have a Xen host server connect to a fiber SAN instance as an extra LVM disk, then allow the Xen host to offer this as either a partition or logical volume (LVM) instance to a Xen guest VM? Here's a sort of idea I am looking at...

EMC SAN Storage
 + Xen Host --> Mounted as vg01, offered as /var/lib/xen/images/extra-disk.img (xvdc)
 +++ Add new drive to Xen Guest as "tap:aio:/var/lib/xen/images/extra-disk.img,xvdc,w"
 ++++ Xen Guest --> pvcreate /dev/xvdc, vgextend vg00 /dev/xvdc, etc...

Xen Host and Guest VM is running RHEL 5.3. Xen version installed is 3.0.3.

The use of iSCSI is not possible and at last check, the QLogic driver for RHEL has a buggy/unstable state so that it's not really production ready.

Here's what one of our Xen Guest VM's look like, using a 'dd'-based two-drive setup on the Xen Host:

name = "devx14"
uuid = "7d238700-19b7-b357-f759-dcaefc02fe2e"
maxmem = 4096
memory = 4096
vcpus = 2
bootloader = "/usr/bin/pygrub"
on_poweroff = "destroy"
on_reboot = "restart"
on_crash = "restart"
vfb = [ "type=vnc,vncunused=1,keymap=en-us" ]
disk = [ "tap:aio:/var/lib/xen/images/devx14.img,xvda,w", "tap:aio:/var/lib/xen/images/devx14-mysql.img,xvdb,w" ]
vif = [ "mac=00:16:3e:1b:ab:9b,bridge=xenbr0" ]

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Question by:Michael Worsham
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Kerem ERSOY earned 2000 total points
ID: 24340218
In fact NOT. You need the iSCSI driver to get it attached to the Xen host. Once you have attached the SAN Volume to your Xen instance you can start to use LVM only after that. Another method is to attach the iSCSI volume to your XEN host and create your Xen guest over this volume.

I don't think iSCSI implementation in Linux is buggy. It this were the case even Sun Microsystems didn't have and open solution based NAS/SAN devices curentl in the market.
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by:Kerem ERSOY
ID: 24340241
Sorry I didn't notice QLOGIC dirver. It might be real buggy :)
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