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[Xen-API] Re: [Xen-devel] [Xen-users] XCP - xenserver tools required?

To: brooks@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Xen-API] Re: [Xen-devel] [Xen-users] XCP - xenserver tools required?
From: Todd Deshane <todd.deshane@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 00:21:14 -0400
Cc: xen-api@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 12:06 AM,  <brooks@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I posted this to xen-users yesterday without much response so I thought I'd
> try xen-devel.

xen-api is probably a better place for your XCP/xapi-related questions.
Added to CC.

BCC: xen-devel

> One of the issues I've had using XenServer in a multitenant environment is
> the requirement for the VMs to have xentools installed as it causes
> significant issues when upgrading the VM OS or the pool from one version of
> XenServer (XCP) to another.  Having to touch hundreds VMs (by hand) after an
> upgrade just doesn't scale nor is delegating the task to VM owners an
> option.

Rolling Pool Updates are possible:

Does that help your situation?

> Unfortunately a customer, even if they could be educated to do so,
> can't easily install or update the tools unless the xs-tools iso is in the
> virtual DVD drive, and to load it into the DVD drive you need access to
> XenCenter or to the CLI (vm-cd-add, vm-cd-eject, vm-cd-insert, vm-cd-list,
> vm-cd-remove). On the flip side, even if we did cental admin for all the VMs
> (what a nightmare) we wouldn't necessarily have root access to the VM
> preventing us from installing the new tools.
> Not only does this create a management issue it also requires a fair amount
> of knowledge to do the right thing based on the VM.  I've seen situations
> where the kernel on the VM has been updated yet install.sh wants to
> downgrade the kernel.  For example, I have a Debian Etch VM that is running
> an updated kernel:
> Yet, running install.sh on that VM without the -k option causes an older
> kernel to be installed:
> Not only that but the tools that get installed are for XCP 1.0.
>        xe-guest-utilities_1.0.0-647_i386.deb
> It's doing the correct thing by installing 1.0.0-647 (XCP 1.x), but is
> certainly doesn't look correct (expecially in XenCenter) unless you do some
> digging.  XCP really needs it's own version of XenCenter, or a better
> alternative.  Speaking of an alternative I've been looking at the XenServer
> for OpenStack implementation:
>        http://wiki.openstack.org/XenServerDevelopment
> and the last step in the process is to install XenTools using XenCenter,
> OpenXenManager or the CLI.  Having to install and manage XenTools may be
> fine for private clouds where all the VMs are managed by one or more
> engineers but it just doesn't work for public clouds.
> The XenServer 5.6fp1 manual states:
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> XenServer Tools must be installed for each Virtual Machine (Windows and
> Linux) in order for the VM to have a fully supported configuration, and to
> be able to use the XenServer management tools (the xe CLI or XenCenter). A
> Windows VM will function without them, but performance will be significantly
> hampered unless the tools are installed.
> Without the tools being installed, you cannot:
>       - Cleanly shut down a VM
>       - Cleanly reboot a VM
>       - Suspend a VM
>       - Migrate a running VM (aka XenMotion)
>       - Use the checkpoint and roll back feature
>       - Change the vCPUs Live
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Given the above it would seem that it's important to have windows pv
> drivers, some older CentOS kernels, and the xe-guest-utilities installed in
> an XCP environment.  But how do we manage it?  The cloud.com guys (which is
> based on the free version of XenServer) seem to ignore the problem.  What do
> you do?
> All ideas, comments, and opinons are welcome.
> _______________________________________________
> Xen-devel mailing list
> Xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> http://lists.xensource.com/xen-devel

Todd Deshane

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