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RE: [Xen-users] Home Xen hypervisor for master's project

  • To: Joseph Commisso <commissoje@xxxxxxxxx>, xen-users <Xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Ryan Holt <ryan@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 02:40:59 +0000
  • Accept-language: en-US
  • Cc: Todd Deshane <todd.deshane@xxxxxxx>
  • Delivery-date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 18:42:41 -0800
  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>
  • Thread-index: AQHL0HAHsXkMIwlKQU66qaNUn5FzBZQJ2ymAgAALWwCAAAJ4AP//rPPggABnqID//6+sQA==
  • Thread-topic: [Xen-users] Home Xen hypervisor for master's project

As far as I know Xen will use as many cores that you have. You can configure 
each core to be pinned to a specific VM / dom0 if you'd like but it's not 

To answer your question about XEON / i7/i5 there's generally more server 
"grade" features baked into the chipset. Things like ECC RAM.

As far as AMD vs Intel, that can be somewhat of a holy war, but Intel dominates 
AMD in market share so you'd be hard pressed to convince me that every IT 
operation is implementing a sub par product. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph Commisso [mailto:commissoje@xxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2011 9:25 PM
To: xen-users
Cc: Todd Deshane; Ryan Holt
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Home Xen hypervisor for master's project

I am getting off on a tangent and need to get back to my original track.
Server grade is good. It's better. But I do not have to have server grade.

Back to what I was originally asking.
I am probably going with AMD for reasons that someone I trust has told me that 
AMD is superior.
I am not trying to get a debate going and I am not knowledgeable enough, but 
AMD is certainly lower cost and has some other advantages with the way it is 
constructed, so that is where I am focused now.
Intel is great too, but I think I will go with a late model Phenom for now.
I guess IOMMU is kind of important and I can afford it, so I will resolve that 
I will get a 890FX chipset.

* So, can someone chime in on how many cores the Xen hypervisor and it's guests 
will use?

I read a message earlier that stated that when compiling the kernel, there is 
an option for how many virtual cores you will use?
Did I get that right?

If Xen will use all 6 cores and will utilize them better than if I had a four 
core CPU, then that is what I am asking.
I will probably have anywhere from 3 to 6 virtual machines going at any time.
Does the Dom0 use one core and is each guest optimally using one or two of the 
other real cores?
If that is the case, then Dom0 would take one of the six. That would leave 5 
cores for say two VMs with two cores each and one VM using the last core. Could 
I do something like that? Or one VM using 3 cores and one VM using 2 cores?
Is that something that is trivial to set up?

Hopefully these answers are easy for someone who has been there.


I am

On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 8:15 PM, Ryan Holt <ryan@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I recently built a home Xen server to both play with and run a few servers at 
> my house. I decided I'd spend a little more money and get server grade gear 
> and have been very happy with what I have so far:
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139024
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117225
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182235
> You'll need a few disks and a case. I used software RAID and used the 6 SATA 
> connectors on the board along with an old Coolermaster case. I purchased 3x 
> 5.25 to 5x3.5" hdd adapter to make things easier. Next I'll buy one of these 
> cases to replace the Coolermaster that it's currently running in:
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219038&cm_re=
> 4224-_-11-219-038-_-Product
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Todd 
> Deshane
> Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2011 8:11 PM
> To: Joseph Commisso
> Cc: Xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Home Xen hypervisor for master's project
> On Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 1:02 AM, Joseph Commisso <commissoje@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 7:21 PM, Todd Deshane <todd.deshane@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 8:02 PM, Joseph Commisso <commissoje@xxxxxxxxx> 
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> Could somebody please help me with a few hardware questions?
>>>> I am building a home Xen server to implement a Xen Cloud for my 
>>>> master's project comparing SOA.
>>>> I will probably use Linux guest OSs, but I may want to use a 
>>>> Windows guest for home PC use.
>>> Can you go into more detail about what features you plan to implement?
>> Well, I really do not know too much about Cloud computing, grids 
>> (Globus), or parallel programming, all of which I would like to touch 
>> upon or possibly go into more depth.
> You might find these useful for background (you or your school will need an 
> ACM account):
> http://techpack.acm.org/cloud/
> http://techpack.acm.org/parallel/
>> I was thinking of implementing a grid on the cloud, but then I saw 
>> documentation referring to a cloud on a grid, so when I get there, I 
>> will work that one out.
>> My instructor said to compare what I do against SOA, which will give 
>> me something to work on there as well.
>> I am fairly proficient with Linux administration with some abilities 
>> on other areas, like networking, hardware and some minor software 
>> programming.
>> So, I do not know what I will need to implement at this point. I hope 
>> to learn as I go and see if I can come up with something useful.
>> I want to build this virtual server at home, since the machines that 
>> I have access to at school are slow and also because school is 50 
>> miles away and I have no other classes to attend, so working at home 
>> on this seems like the way to do it.
>>> Also, what type of interfaces do you expect to provide to users? How 
>>> will they connect? etc.
>> What I know how to do is use xdmcp for remote sessions.
>> If I do set up a grid or cluster, then there may be some interface 
>> which that uses.
>> Again, I hope to be able to find out when I get there.
>> I plan on choosing a motherboard/CPU and then building the rest of 
>> the machine around those.
>> I have a coworker who suggested the AMD line and said that due to the 
>> way the CPU connects to the bus and the rest of the motherboard, that 
>> three cores is optimal.
>> I did not get a chance to talk to him about a hypervisor machine and 
>> whether that also applied to the three cores.
>>>> I have been trying to make a decision on the CPU and motherboard to 
>>>> purchase and really could use some help.
>>>> I have read the wiki post at:
>>>> http://wiki.xen.org/xenwiki/VTdHowTo?highlight=(vtd)
>>>> 1) For my purposes, is IOMMU important?
>>>> If so, then also, for my purposes, it looks like the ASUS Crosshair 
>>>> IV Formula may be a good choice.
>>>> ** I would appreciate any input, as to the Crosshair or other, like the 
>>>> M4A89TD.
>>>> Now for the CPU and I have really not been able to determine how 
>>>> many cores is optimal for this server.
>>>> I have a knowledgeable coworker who says that three cores is 
>>>> optimal and I have not been able to find information to support 
>>>> that or dispute it.
>>>> 2) The Phenom II series seems to be attractive, so I have been 
>>>> concentrating on those, but can someone also help me with the X3, 
>>>> X4, or X6 decision?
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Joe
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Xen-users mailing list
>>>> Xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> http://lists.xensource.com/xen-users
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