May try moving my Xenserver setup to Vsphere to allow me the option for PCI passthrough, which Xenserver doesn’t offer.
This is a great guide (for both hardware and installing) ESXi 5 and setting up UnRaid on it, which is what I plan on doing as well.
The case my current unraid server is in has more then enough space for more drives, (just need another drive tray) and I’d be good to go. I am already running out of ram in the current Xenserver system so to try and upgrade the DDR2 ram in that box would cost a lot of money. Probably as much as getting a new system built uing DDR3 ram (yes, it’s that much cheaper right now). As an example, I just upgraded my desktop machine and for the cost of getting 4gigs DDR2 ram, I got 8 gigs DDR3 ram + a new motherboard.
I’d probably want 16gigs of ram in the new system, (going from 8gigs in the xenserver box). I just need to choose components as apparently ESXi is a little more picky about hardware then XenServer (which seems to run on pretty much anything)
I keep having issues every time I install VirtualBox on my machine, and figured this time I would document what I did to get the kernel modules to properly compile upon installation.
First make sure openSuSE is up to date
Then install kernel sources
zypper install gcc make automake autoconf kernel-source kernel-syms
Adding removable drives
I am considering moving the Xenserver machines to a network location, removing them from the box in which the hypervisor is residing.
I have a gigabit network which theoretically can transport just over 100MB/s worth of data (about 125MB/s I think is the calculation) but I expect less then that in the real world.
A 100Mb network can do 12.5MB/s, but realistically, only about 9MB/s is capable after all the networking overhead is introduced, so assuming 90MB/s for a gigabit connection may not be unreasonable.
HD normally put out 40-60MB/s, so a gigabit network should not be a bottleneck (assuming only one connection).
Going to run some tests to see what throughput my LAN can sustain.
Running bonnie++ on /mnt/tower/disk1 I get
Version 1.03d ------Sequential Output------ --Sequential Input- --Random- -Per Chr- --Block-- -Rewrite- -Per Chr- --Block-- --Seeks-- Machine Size K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP /sec %CP apps-server05 2072M 22582 11 23699 1 15228 0 53534 35 62733 1 165.6 0 ------Sequential Create------ --------Random Create-------- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- files /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP 16 832 2 1852 1 1079 1 812 1 2153 0 840 1
Locally on the workstation running Bonnie++ on the SSD drive with a 8gig file (4gigs ram in machine) I get:
Version 1.03d ------Sequential Output------ --Sequential Input- --Random- -Per Chr- --Block-- -Rewrite- -Per Chr- --Block-- --Seeks-- Machine Size K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP /sec %CP workstation01 7416M 63910 62 49520 20 24627 11 96748 92 233131 38 2300 9 ------Sequential Create------ --------Random Create-------- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- files /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP 16 +++++ +++ +++++ +++ +++++ +++ +++++ +++ +++++ +++ +++++ +++
On the same workstation, using a 7200rpm 160 gig drive, I get:
To be done
I did some file copies with SCP (since it reports the transfer rate).
Between machines on the xen hypervisor with a local file I am getting about 75MB/s
Between same machines, with a file stored on the UnRAID server I am getting about 30MB/s in read speed. This is obviously limited by both the UnRAID machine or the network connection.
Did another SCP between my workstation machine and a virtual machine and I topped out at 9.9MB/s
Will have to investigate this further since I’m obviously only getting 100Mbit speeds, when I have a 1Gb connection? Maybe not…
I had tried using Suse Studio appliances a while back, and didn’t have much luck with it. That was over a year ago, and honestly, I don’t remember exactly why I didn’t like it, or couldn’t get it working. I think it may have had something to do with the fact that I could not boot one of those appliances in xen or xenserver (whatever I was running at the time)
Anyway, it seems like there may be home. I came back to visit the site today, and did a bit of digging, and it seems there may be a simple way to convert the xen appliance into a Cirtix XenServer appliance. Get the python script and read the how-to here.
I will have to give this a go.
UPDATE: So I gave it a go.
After some struggling, I can report success. I have managed to get a xen vm created by suse studio to run in Citrix’s XenServer, using the script mentioned earlier.
Once the xva file is imported into xenserver (throught xen center) I need to add “console=ttyS0 xencons=ttyS barrier=off” to the Properties > Startup options of the VM.
Currently I’m refining the one SqueezeCenter appliance VM.
A few days ago I moved from runing a openSuSE DomU host to the Free XenServer 5.5.0 that Citrix is offering.
I had noticed that the VMs were running very slowly. Much slower then I remembered them running on the openSuSE DomU. So I did some tests, and it came down to the fact that hdparm -tT /dev/sda was reporting about 1-2MB/sec for the buffered disk reads. This was taken at the console of the xenserver terminal, not on a VM.
After some research, I found out that the generic IDE drivers don’t allow for UDMA to be enabled. So I did the next best thing. I had a SATA drive of similar size in another machine, and swapped the two.
Now I get about 60MB/sec buffered disk reads. That’s what it should be. And from within a VM I get about 55MB/sec, but I don’t quite believe that. Will have to do some more extensive testing with bonnie++.
I’ve been running virtual machines for a while now (maybe 3 years?) and they have all been running on some bare minimal OpenSuse installation (in Dom U) with Xen being the hypervisor.
I decided the other day to give XenServer 5.5.0 (the free version) a try. I had a few days of unhappiness, mainly because I love openSuse, and it seemed that nobody knew how to get it installed in XenServer, as a PV guest.
I finally got it working. Finally got openSuSE 11.2 running in XenServer, as a PH guest, with the Server Tools installed and working. Read more…
A couple of links which I know will come in handy later: