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[Xen-users] [Q] Is it feasible: Reassigning PCI devices, controlling dom

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Subject: [Xen-users] [Q] Is it feasible: Reassigning PCI devices, controlling domU boot order, and a domU acting as a server to other domUs?
From: Maurice Volaski <mvolaski@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 16:27:06 -0500
Delivery-date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 13:29:38 -0800
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I am planning to build a single server to act primarily as a disk to disk to tape (D2D2T) backup server.

Requirement number one is ZFS-managed hard drives. They consist of a 24-bay internal SATA array via a SATA HBA and an external SATA to SCSI JBOD array via a SCSI HBA.

Requirement number two is a Windows-based application doing the backup, so there must be least one Window domU, and it must read and write to the storage described above to perform D2D and to the tape drive and library for the "2T" portion. The tape drive and library are connected via a second SCSI HBA.

Ideally, I'd like to use an OpenSolaris-based Xen hypervisor, having it manage and serve the hard drives to the Windows domU, but there is a problem. There doesn't seem to be any way to get the SCSI-based tape drive/library to talk with the Windows domU as OpenSolaris doesn't seem to be able to export SCSI devices or reassign PCI devices.

So my modified plan is to use a Linux-based Xen. That will sit on a separate root array managed by yet another HBA, probably a SAS-based RAID HBA. So the final arrangement is:

Reassign the SATA HBA to the OpenSolaris domU (for the internal drives)
Reassign one SCSI HBA to the OpenSolaris domU (for the external array)
Reassign a second SCSI HBA to a Windows domU (for the tape drive and library)

The OpenSolaris domU will act as a CIFS-based file server to the Windows domU and thus must boot before it. This also means that one domU will be acting as a server to another domU on the very same system.

Is this feasible?

Maurice Volaski, mvolaski@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Computing Support, Rose F. Kennedy Center
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

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