[Michael T. Babcock] Xen stuff


I've been playing around with Xen for a few weeks now and enjoying some of the features. If you read anything here and have any suggestions because I did something stupid, feel free to E-mail me (see the bottom of the page).

Partitioning

I configured my base system with a Xen kernel and LVM support. I made the entire disk array (software RAID with four disks) one big PV (except for /boot) and configured a volume group on it we'll call server. I created logical volumes for my root, /home and a couple other mount points as usual, leaving much of the space free. When I configured my first domU, a web server, I created a logical volume of 12G called /dev/server/xen_webserver1 and installed Linux on it as per the Xen instructions. Within that server (which sees /dev/xvda as its disk), I partitioned it also as one small /boot partition with the rest as a volume group (called webserver).

After some time, I realized I needed more space. I went out to the console of server and used lvextend to grow the /dev/server/xen_webserver1 logical volume. Then I entered the console for the webserver (xm console webserver1) and rebooted it into runlevel 1 and then used fdisk to delete the PV's partition (/dev/xvda2) and recreate it (with the same start cylinder) to fill the rest of the now larger disk. After rebooting again (within the virtual 'webserver' machine), I logged in as root and ran pvresize /dev/xvda2 and the physical volume was resized to match the larger partition size after which I could then use that space from within LVM on the webserver.

Benchmarks

I was curious about performance issues with running Xen, especially CPU and disk overhead. I've got my results here if you're interested.

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