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Re: [Xen-users] In the process of deciding to virtualize, manyuncertaint

To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] In the process of deciding to virtualize, manyuncertainties
From: "harry@xxxxxxxxxxxx" <harry@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2010 03:23:44 -0400
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Reply-to: harry@xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Hi and thx for swift reply.

Yesterday I got a similar reply from the VMware forum. Here they stated
that digi.com had a product called AnywhereUSB, which supports VMware
servers. Looks like your link is about 50% less expensive :-)

Question however remains, looking at the supported OS'es, does it support
Linux VM's?. From the product information I see they support Windows and
Mac OS. I need to pass through USB connection to a linux VM. Any experience

Alternative could be to run XenServer, set up a Win VM, install a
VMworkstation like software (Virtualbox,... or can XenServer be installed
on top of a running Win OS?), and install a new VM (within the VM) so that
USB will become visible. A cut and paste solution, but maybe worth while
trying, if all else fails.

Anyway, if you could confirm if you managed to use a Silex server in
conjuction with a Linux VM, I would be very grateful.

Best Regards,

Original Message:
From:  kcobler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 07:28:21 -0500
To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] In the process of deciding to virtualize,

Quoting "harry@xxxxxxxxxxxx" <harry@xxxxxxxxxxxx>:

> Hi all,
> I have 2 web servers running with Raid 5 (software raid). They run centos
> 5.4. No other devices attached.
> Then I have a windows 2003 server running backups on the network,
> the web servers via samba. Backup is stored on a external hard disk,
> connected to the win server over USB.
> There is a fourth server running linux, that is used for general purpose
> and special scripting testing. It has a USB hub connected, with 2 or more
> smart card readers (type Smargo). No raid, just basic setup.
> I started testing of virtual servers with Oracle Virtualbox. The hosing OS
> was windows XP pro 32 bit. The entire OS and data was encrypted with
> truecrypt. Easy going, but found out the hard way that the virtual
> is only as safe as the host OS it is running on. Got a nasty virus, and
> after 2 weeks trying to get rid of the virus, I found that this is not
> enough as a production server solution.
> So I reformatted the new server and installed XenServer. One of the first
> things I found out was that the USB printer that I had connected did not
> show on the installed Win XP VM. After doing some reading, Is this a known
> problem? Also the DVD burner could read discs, and be used for installing
> software on the Win XP VM, but not for burning. The external HDD connected
> with USB cable was not recognized either, just as the USB pen was not
> recognized.
> So I am seeking assistance... . Is PCI and USB passthrough is supported in
> one of the XenServer products? By the way, my server hardware is 64 bit
> compatible, how tell I XenServer to run in 64 bit, and can I run 32 bit
> VM's?
> In the mean time I am trying to anticipate any future issues. Next on my
> list is to do a basic test by installing Win XP VM. Can anyone advice me
> if the know issues are going to be solved:
> - USB printer in XP VM
> - HDD via USB cable visible in XP VM
> - Burning DVDs on XP VM
> If this is working, next is the Linux server with the USB hub and USB
> Smargo card readers. Is this supported by XenServer?
> Next will be importing the 2 Centos web servers. Is software raid
> supported? Can anybody confirm this? If not, I wonder how to convert the
> server to VM? I can not make an image of the entire setup including all
> mirror partitions. Any suggestions?
> If raid5 is not supported, then what is the best solution to have my
> servers secured against HDD failures? What is the best strategy? Normally
> consider one server at a time, like choosing the raid type, firewall,
> antivirus, etc? .
> Backups are another concern. Right now I use Acronis Enterprise, but feel
> that this solution is not good enough, due to the fact that I am in big
> troubles when shit will hit the fan, and it will. I?ve been there ;-).
> Acronis is just not fool proof when it comes to securing linux servers. I
> am looking for a bare metal recovery solution like R1Soft, where snapshots
> are being used, and hotcopying the partitions. What is the closed I get
> when using XenServer? I could consider running 2 VMware servers, and where
> server 2 is a mirrored copy of server one, to ensure load balancing /
> redundancy. Or is there an easier solution? Please your 2 cents.
> Last, but not least, is encryption. When using software like Truecrypt,
> does XenServer allow to encrypt the entire OS and underlying data, or it
> advisable to encrypt only the VMs?

PCI passthru was difficult for me (hardware had to support it). USB  
passthru was limited to one device.

My solution for USB in a VM environment is USB over IP device.


This device allowed me to add a USB hub to support multiple USB  
devices. Also the device is supported by Windows 2003/XP, etc. I also  
could have different devices attached to different VMs at the same time.

Ken Cobler

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