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Re: [Xen-users] PV Drivers for Windows

To: Steve Sapovits <steves06@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] PV Drivers for Windows
From: Freddie Cash <fjwcash@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:17:20 -0800
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On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 7:55 PM, Steve Sapovits <steves06@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 2/22/2011 10:39 PM, Ciro Iriarte wrote:
>> Hi, I've been using Xen for quite a while, but always with Linux
>> ParaVirtual domUs. Recently somebody asked me about Windows support as
>> domU on Xen, and I always had this doubt, are all the PV drivers de
>> same?, I know there are at least three, the ones from Citrix, the VMDP
>> from Novell and  GPLPV drivers
>> Are all of them compatible with Xen 4?, all of them provide the same
>> functions/performance?, what's the general rule of thumb on this
>> subject?
> To my knowledge, Windows guests only run in HVM mode, not as
> paravirtualized guests.  I have a Xen 4 environment (openSUSE
> dom0) where I run a combination of Linux and Windows guests.
> No issues with the Windows guests so far.

Yes, Windows (and other non-Xen-aware OSes) must run in a
hardware-assisted VM.  However, once the OS is installed, you can add
paravirt drivers for disk controller and network interfaces.  These
paravirt drivers will (at least in theory, YMMV) vastly out-perform
the emulated drivers.

Thus, you can get the best of both worlds:  use any OS via HVM, but
gain the benefits of paravirt I/O.

Freddie Cash

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