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Re: [Xen-users] please help: Linux Kernel must be loaded before initrd

  • To: Simon Hobson <linux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Rudi Ahlers <rudiahlers@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2009 11:09:44 +0200
  • Cc: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Delivery-date: Mon, 08 Jun 2009 02:10:36 -0700
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  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>

On Mon, Jun 8, 2009 at 12:02 AM, Simon Hobson <linux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Rudi Ahlers wrote:

 > I do agree that a KVM is a good option, but also found that a properly
 configured server never needs it.

ANY server ALWAYS need it. Simply because it can fail and you might need
to access the BIOS to disable an HDD, or simply reboot the server, or
again boot on a diagnostic server. Now that I use KVMs everywhere, I
just feel I'm BLIND when I don't have one, and I hate the feeling.

Well, each to his own, I suppose :) I don't really sit and work on servers every moment of the day :)

It's not something you sit at very much at all. We've just rebuilt the server room at work, and although we've got lots of stuff virtualised (so virtual desktops and stuff), we've still put in a KVM so we can access the consoles of any box. We don't use it much, in fact it can go many weeks without being used, but when it is used ... it's essential.

I couldn't imagine not having the option of getting at the server console.

What saving are we talking about here? 100 USD per server wont make your
accountant have a heart attack ... But loosing precious time can make
your customers run away.

Well, with a KVM, I meant that I would need to sit and fix the problem, or pay a tech's  salary to sit and fix the problem. It's more than often cheaper to pay the IDC to manage the servers, since time is valuable to me.

Time is valuable to everyone. The question is, have you actually saved anything by using the hosting providers support staff ? Rather than access the server and see for yourself, you've had to instruct them to do something, wait for them to respond, and then work out what the results mean.

Definitely :) This is a isolated case. But many, many of my other servers, worldwide, run without every seen a KVM. And very few of them ever had a hardware issues that would ever have required a KVM. I tend to upgrade / replace servers long before the hardware even gets a chance to get old enough to use a KVM to diagnose. I can SSH into any server and do whatever I need to.

So, for the few odd times where I needed it, I relied on IDC support staff to sort it out. And with the other data centers, the help I get is excellent. They are all onsite ( I don't use a reseller / colo host), and staff can normally get to the server within minutes and sort the problem out, if there is any.

This particular IDC don't have KVM rental options, and theyr staff takes a very very LONG (sometimes 2 days)  to respond to tickets.  I read good things about their network and thought I'd give them a try, but I have since cancelled the server, and moved all the data onto a new server in a a different IDC.


In this case, you've come to this list for advice, and then you have to go back to the hosting support staff, explain to them what to do, and wait to find out what's happened.

Sure, but with a data centre that doesn't offer quick support, I had to.

If it costs you income (either directly from discounting customers hosting fees, or indirectly from losing customer goodwill and possibly losing their custom) then the time taken has probably cost more than adding remote access would have cost.

With my other servers, in other data centers, I've never had to use a KVM. If / when a server actually had hardware problems, I could count on the support staff to fix it. So, for the same price as a KVM that didn't get used, I could have added more RAM / CPU / HDD / etc which could be used ;)

That's my 2d worth on the subject.

Anyway, it's your hosting not ours - so your choice.

Simon Hobson

Visit http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk/ for books by acclaimed
author Gladys Hobson. Novels - poetry - short stories - ideal as
Christmas stocking fillers. Some available as e-books.

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Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers
CEO, SoftDux Hosting
Web: http://www.SoftDux.com
Office: 087 805 9573
Cell: 082 554 7532
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