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Re: [Xen-users] RHEL6 beta vs. Xen

To: Pasi Kärkkäinen <pasik@xxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] RHEL6 beta vs. Xen
From: Steven Timm <timm@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2010 09:04:06 -0500 (CDT)
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On Wed, 9 Jun 2010, Pasi Kärkkäinen wrote:

On Tue, Jun 08, 2010 at 10:31:48AM -0500, Steven Timm wrote:

Has anyone yet figured out what it would take to make Xen
run on top of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 beta?
We are heavily invested in Xen under RHEL5 (actually
a redhat clone) distribution, but already the xen kernel
they are shipping with update 4 and 5 is shaky and has bugs
which they don't seem to be in a hurry to fix.

Basically I am wondering if Redhat 6 is just going to
have benign neglect and ignore Xen, or if there is going
to be stuff built into the OS which actively mitigates
against Xen in favor of KVM.

RHEL6 won't have Xen dom0 capability.

Yes I know that.
There was a time in the past when RHEL4 didn't have it
either. In those days people did a lot of work to
patch the Xen hypervisor into a kernel that looked a lot like
the RedHat kernel and could run on top of RHEL4.  There were
even RPMS of a pre-compiled kernel.  That's what I
am trying to figure out.. are there enough people who
are both locked into RedHat and committed to Xen that
it would make sense to try some kind of effort like that again?

RHEL6 will run as Xen PV and HVM domUs though.
You can use RHEL5 Xen dom0 to run RHEL6 Xen PV guests.

Or you can use Citrix Xenserver, or XCP to run RHEL6 guests.

Site OS baselines constrain what I can do in that regard.
RedHat and derivatives (Scientific Linux) are only distros approved at
my facility
Unless someone comes up with a way to do an alternative kernel/hypervisor
that can run a dom0 in a RedHat OS environment (such as was the case in xen 3.0.2-> xen 3.0.4 days) , there will be a lot
of us that are forced out of the Xen business, which is of
course exactly RedHat's plan.  And there are a lot of apps I run
where KVM just doesn't cut it yet either in terms of I/O throughput
or in terms of reliability.

Steve Timm

-- Pasi

Steven C. Timm, Ph.D  (630) 840-8525
timm@xxxxxxxx  http://home.fnal.gov/~timm/
Fermilab Computing Division, Scientific Computing Facilities,
Grid Facilities Department, FermiGrid Services Group, Assistant Group Leader.

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