[Xen-users] Questions before starting an interesting Xen project
Me and four other students at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in
Sweden are in the startup phase for an interesting project utilizing
Xen. We have been asked to modernise and improve the performance of a
router simulation package called Crab. Currently Crab runs a few
instances of UML and inside each guest OS Quagga is run. Quagga is a
routing daemon with interface similar to Cisco's IOS. This package gives
students the opportunity to boot a LiveCD in their computer and get
instant access to a virtual environment of a bunch of routers. The
students can exercise Cisco CCNA/CCNP level studies without actually
having the hardware.
Our task is to replace UML with Xen for this solution.
I think this Xen is a very interesting software and this project is very
well suited to be run under Xen.
During a learning process questionmarks pop up constantly. While reading
docs, mailinglists and such, some of them are straightened out and some
even become multiplied. Some of the latter I will post here to see if
the Xen community will help me straighten these out.
let's go :-)
* Minimum kernel/memory usage for domU
The goal with this solution is to enable students to run as many virtual
routers (using Quagga) as possible within the same computer. Therefore,
the memory usage inside domU needs to be minimized. Using the demoCD
2.0.6, I found out that 19MB ram were used after all services and
running processes were stopped. Is this the absolute minimum or is it
possible to reclaim further more memory? Is the ramdrive actuallty
needed? If so, how small can I push it?
* Memory required for dom0
Is there a formula or so for calculating dom0 memory requirement? Ie
some base amont + constant * number of domU's? If we can "afford" it, a
GUI with X would be nice, so that students can read an online manual in
a web browser while having console windows to the domU's running routing
If we succeed in optimizing the environment well, how many virtual
machines would be possible to run in a 256MB ram machine?
* dom0 and domU kernels
What kernels do you recommend for dom0 and domU? Some specific distros
or kernels optimized for maximum memory efficiency?
* Other limiting factors
Right now memory is the limiting factor as far as I can understand.
Beening new to this, I most likely missed something. What other factors
must I calculate with for capacity planning? I think the goal is to run
somewhere around 10 domU's.
Hope to hear from you all. If anyone has ever heard or read something on
the 'net about a similar solution, I'd be really glad to hear about it.
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