Back into the flow

Whitewater face

Today was the first day back into a more regular schedule (although it's not going to last for too long — I'm heading back out of town in a couple of weeks). I was a bit slow, which I expected since I went to pick up my mail at the start of the day and then was a bit tired from staying up too late last night reading. But still, not a bad day.

I have Xen basically installed, although I haven't created a guest yet. I'm getting a feel for it, and I can see how we could make it do all the things that we want to do, but I'm fairly sure that for our purposes it's going to lose to VMware. I'd have fun putting on top of Xen the management layer that we'd need to duplicate some of the functionality of VMware, but I think it's a waste of effort (particularly with KVM coming) and VMware is more there. It has its own annoyances (Xen is way easier to use from a UNIX context), but we already have the infrastructure to work around that.

The Xen user guide could use quite a bit of work. There seem to be many other capabilities and features of Xen that aren't mentioned in it at all.

The oddest part of Xen to me is the lack of obvious, well-documented support for just assigning a pile of disk to a new VM and then installing it via PXE. This is a considerably better model for us than Xen's native model. Xen apparently supports this, from references I've seen, but I've not been able to find the right way to configure it and it's not the "natural" way. I think this is a shame. The PXE model is incredibly powerful and works great with every major OS. But this mostly comes back to VMware being a better fit for what we want to do.

It's a shame, since I'd really rather use something that's free software, but that's not one of our evaluation criteria for this project.

Posted: 2009-01-15 19:57 — Why no comments?

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04