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

  • To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • From: Luke S Crawford <lsc@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: 08 Jun 2009 06:08:42 -0400
  • Delivery-date: Mon, 08 Jun 2009 03:09:30 -0700
  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>

Rudi Ahlers <rudiahlers@xxxxxxxxx> writes:
> 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.

A serial console is far superior to a KVM.  Ok, so 
the kernel panicked last night, the box rebooted and it's fine now.   
how do you tell what went wrong?   If you have a logging serial console, 
you have the backtrace right there.   If you have a KVM, you are out
of luck.    The data center guys are going to shrug and say it's working 
fine now.  You want I take it offline and run memtest?  well, if it was 
an oom-killer problem, you've just taken an additional few hours downtime,
chasing the wrong problem, when the real problem would have been obvious,
if you sprang for another $10 in parts. 

If a server reboots and I don't know why, that server gets taken out of 
production.   unclean reboots on your Xen0 are quite expensive.  

A serial console is next to free.   I give a port away with every U I 
rent out.   You can get a used 32-port Cyclades on ebay for around $300, 
or if you are even cheaper, it's simple enough to use the buddy system 
(server A has the console for server B, server B has the console for server
A... you are good as long as they don't both fail at the same time.)

I know I sound a bit... ticked.  but I can't count the number of times a 
client has asked me to figure out why a server rebooted last night (a 
reasonable request)  only to find that they don't have a logging 
serial console.   Half the time they have DRAC, which can be configured as
a serial console or as a kvm, but they have it setup as a kvm!  that means
they blew $300 extra, and now I can't help them anyway.

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