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[Xen-devel] Pointers needed


We're going to start a project soon for a fairly big client. Part of the project involves setting up a highly available web cluster with load balancing, based on RedHat enterprise linux 3, that will run about 80 virtual web servers. One of the requirements of the web server setup is QOS guarantees for the virtual web sites, so that one virtual host with runaway perl/php etc web pages won't let the whole machine grind to a halt. At first we thought this could be done with Apache, but after careful investigation it does not look like you can have resource guarantees and isolation between virtual web servers. In fact it looks like the only web server really capable of this at the moment is the Zeus range of products. However, we don't want to go that route. Instead we want to run each virtual web server on a separate virtual machine, based on Xen. I would like some pointers about how this might be implemented. First of all, how would you do high availability and load balancing with Xen virtual servers? Secondly, since the different virtual host images are all mostly the same, except for a few minor details, is there a way to have a master image that all the server could boot from, even though each virtual server has it's own IP address and apache config? I don't want to have 80 separate images lying around if they're 99% the same. Neither do I want to patch 80 servers separately if a security patch become available.

I must admit I haven't tried Xen yet, however I have read the documentation available on the web site. Any other pointers on such a setup would be appreciated.

Jan van Rensburg

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