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RE: [Xen-users] The death of XEN by Novell

To: "'Nick Couchman'" <Nick.Couchman@xxxxxxxxx>, "'Mark Williamson'" <mark.williamson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "'Antoine Benkemoun'" <antoine.benkemoun@xxxxxxxxx>, "'Ky Srinivasan'" <ksrinivasan@xxxxxxxxxx>, "'Lynn Bendixsen'" <lbendixs@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] The death of XEN by Novell
From: "Venefax" <venefax@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 17:20:17 -0400
Cc: stephen.spector@xxxxxxxxxx, xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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If you sunk $35K on Novell’s word about windows working in Xen, you would not be so “reasonable” about it. You would get kind of emotional.


From: Nick Couchman [mailto:Nick.Couchman@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 5:05 PM
To: 'Mark Williamson'; 'Antoine Benkemoun'; Venefax; 'Ky Srinivasan'; 'Lynn Bendixsen'
Cc: stephen.spector@xxxxxxxxxx; xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] The death of XEN by Novell


This sounds to me like an emotional (over)reaction to a bug in Xen.  I have also run across this flaw in Xen (Novell's version of it, anyway - don't know if all of the Xen versions are tainted) and have resigned myself to running my multi-processor Windows VMs on my VMware ESX servers instead of on XEN.  Yes, it's annoying, and yes I can see how you'd me a little ticked off after losing so much time to it, but, Xen still functions perfectly fine on SLES10 SP2 for me - I have four physical machines, all running SLES10 SP2 with somewhere on the order of 40 or so domUs on those four machines, and plenty of capacity to spare.  Very useful, not dead.  And, probably 25 of those 40 domUs are HVM domUs running Windows XP.  One of them is Solaris, and the rest are various versions of Linux.  So, to recap:

1) Yes, there's a bug in there somewhere that makes running a multi-processor Windows-based HVM crash.

2) You can still run Windows on XEN - maybe just not in your environment.

3) XEN is still very, very useful - maybe just not for what you're trying to do right now.

4) XEN is not dead, nor is it dieing, even if Novell has done something to hose it up a little.

5) If you spent $35K on the hardware you can probably afford to spend another few thousand on VMware ESX and run your multi-processor Windows VMs on there.



>>> On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 11:10 AM, "Venefax" <venefax@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

According to Novell, Xen has a flaw that in fact means it is useless. I have a single supported system with SLES SP2, where I have 3 Windows VM's and 5 Linux VM's. In each of the Windows VM's I have 8 Virtual CPU's, because I have a vital SQL Server installed where my company runs all its business. The data comes precisely from the Linux virtual machines, and having the database "right there" has proven extremely efficient. But all my three Windows VM's crashed simultaneously yesterday and I lost two hours of business. I am using of course the right Novell drivers, etc., every piece of the puzzle in place. Novell already checked that. The engineers showed me a technical note that says that having more than one Virtual CPU in a Windows VM leads to crashes. But then we cannot have any windows VM at all, hello!!! This means that the $35.000 box that I bought is the wrong box, because now I need to remove my windows VM and create a separate windows installation, and order more hardware, spend more money. It means that XEN is useless, because if it only can virtualize Linux, actually Virtuozzo (Open VZ) has a lot less overhead, far less. The beauty of Xen is that it is supposed to virtualize Windows and Linux together. Now, that dream is gone. In case somebody wants to look at my Novell case number, it is

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