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[Xen-users] Few Questions / Application of Xen

  • To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • From: "Ugo PARSI" <ugo.parsi@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 12:27:57 +0100
  • Delivery-date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 11:29:26 +0000
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  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>


I have just started to try Xen (running the live CD) and so I am
fairly new to this great solution...

I can actually create virtual machines (domains) without problems,
it's working great, and I can migrate domains between physical

Everything runs smoothly, so I guess this is a great solution :)

Now I have a few questions due to my inexperience with the product :

-> How is it possible to load balance virtual machines between
physical hosts ? And more generally is it possible to
interconnect/autodiscover a network of physical hosts (like OpenMosix
for example) ?
On the RedHat flash on virtualization, it seems possible...

-> How is it possible to manage the fail over ?  (like physical host A
is down, let's migrate its virtual machines to physical host B for

-> Is it possible to "burst" RAM usage ?

Here's my more general problem, I would like to host game servers
(Quake, Counter Strike, etc...) applications....
The common problem with hosting those servers, is that most of the
time they are not used, so basically you have to load balance the
servers by hand (like putting 8 game servers per machine and that's
all)... so you have a lot of manual work to do... and you can't really
balance correctly the load amongst the server (eg : a machine can have
7 servers out of 8 who are running with players, another one totally
free, etc...)....

That's why I was looking at cluster solutions....

I first started with Single System Image clusters like OpenMosix and
OpenSSI, but I don't really think the way socket migration is handled
is correct for such I/O and Network intensive applications... maybe I
am wrong.... but from what I've read the socket has to stay on the
first  machine..... so it could lead to a saturation of the NIC.

That's why I ended with Xen, I could basically set up one server per
virtual machine, and migrate the virtual machine amongst the physical
servers to load balance, the only problem is that I can't predict how
much RAM a virtual machine could take, if there is 0 players the
process is quite lite, is there are tons of players it can be quite
And setting 256M of RAM per virtual machine just to be sure, would be
a total waste of memory....

If you have any ideas that would help :),

Thanks a lot,


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