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

To: "'James Harper'" <james.harper@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "'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: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 00:28:45 -0400
Cc: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, stephen.spector@xxxxxxxxxx
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The Novell engineer showed me, and it has been confirmed in this list, that
Windows with more than one virtual CPU crashes. An crashing it did. I woke
up with angry calls from customers and when I logged in, all my 3 Windows
VM's (two windows 2008 Datacenter with 32 GB and 8 VCPU and one Windows 2003
Enterprise with 16 GB and 8 VCPU's)  were in blue screen. The memory dump
process was stuck I guess because since the hard drives use the Novell
para-virtualized drivers, then at a blue-screen time you cannot collect any
memory dump. But the fact is that the engineer showed me that advisory note
in the Novell web site, saying I had been wasting my time, and now I am
buying a second $15.000 box to relocate my three windows VM´s. This is joke.

-----Original Message-----
From: James Harper [mailto:james.harper@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 12:08 AM
To: Venefax; Mark Williamson; Antoine Benkemoun; Ky Srinivasan; Lynn
Cc: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; stephen.spector@xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] The death of XEN by Novell

> Subject: The death of XEN by Novell (case number 10406546031)
> According to Novell, Xen has a flaw that in fact means it is useless.

Is this your interpretation of Novell's response or have Novell come out
and said that "Our product is useless"? Are you able to paste the text
of the support ticket or is it bound by some confidentiality agreement?

> I
> have a single supported system with SLES SP2, where I have 3 Windows
> 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
> business. The data comes precisely from the Linux virtual machines,
> having the database "right there" has proven extremely efficient. But
> my three Windows VM's crashed simultaneously yesterday and I lost two
> hours of business.

Can you tell us more about the crash?

Was it really simultaneous (as best as you can tell) or did the domains
just crash at about the same time?

What errors were in the logs (xm dmesg, dmesg, /var/log/xen/*)?

Did Dom0 crash as well?

The only time I've had more than one domain crash near-simultaneously
was when the oom-killer decided that the qemu-dm processes weren't
important and killed them to free up memory.

> 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
> Virtual CPU in a Windows VM leads to crashes.

Can you post a link to that technical note? Is it ">1 CPU leads to
crashes", or ">1 CPU may lead to crashes on this specific hardware under
these specific conditions"? Is it a Novell specific problem or a more
general problem? 

> But then we cannot have any
> windows VM at all, hello!!! This means that the $35.000 box that I
> 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
> 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
> of Xen is that it is supposed to virtualize Windows and Linux
> Now, that dream is gone. In case somebody wants to look at my Novell
> number, it is 10406546031

Was this an invitation to internal Novell support personal or is it
viewable by anyone?

Are you actually after assistance here or just sounding off? (that's a
genuine question, imho everyone is allowed to spit the dummy once in a

Also, Novell aren't the only suppliers of Xen solutions...


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