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Re: [Xen-users] Preferred Disk Image Format / Kernel Location

To: "Trevor Orsztynowicz" <trevoro@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Preferred Disk Image Format / Kernel Location
From: "Todd Deshane" <deshantm@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 22:21:00 -0400
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Some comments inline.

On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 8:59 PM, Trevor Orsztynowicz
<trevoro@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I'm working on a project right now focused on Xen and I'm curious what
> everyones experiences / preferences are regarding the following two aspects
> Preferred Disk Partition Format

There are a lot of good choices here. From disk, partition images, to
partition, Logical Volumes, and even network-based solutions.

For a more detailed analysis I recommend a book that I was a co-author on.

> and
> Location of the Kernel (ie Pygrub / Kernel outside an Image)

For PV guests you have the option to have it outside, and sometimes
that is quite convenient, but for full virt (HVM) guests that is
typically not an option.

pygrub, as of Xen 3.3 has been deprecated in favor of a more secure
approach called PV-GRUB. Search for PV-GRUB at xen.markmail.org
for lots of good references on it, especially recently and also see
blog.xen.org for more details on it in a recent post by the developer.

> For the disk format I've tried all sorts of approach and I can't find any
> specific benefits one way or the other, however I have been leaning more
> towards representing disk images as partition /dev/sda1. The other options
> of course are that I present the target as an entire drive, or as 'xvda'

There is a lot of preference here and also quite a bit of people that
are doing benchmarking of different scenarios. Hopefully some people
will share their experiences and performance results here.

> The kernel location question seems more interesting to me. I've had a lot of
> success using pygrub within the different environments I've managed, and I
> personally prefer this method, but I'm interested in hearing arguments as to
> why this should or shouldn't be done.

I recommend looking into PV-GRUB and also understanding the security
implications of pygrub.

Hope that helps,

Todd Deshane
check out our book: http://runningxen.com

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