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Novell Defends 'Unstable' Xen Claims

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the good-to-go dept.

132

daria42 writes "Novell has fired back at Red Hat's claims that the open source Xen virtualization software is not yet ready for enterprise use. 'We had all the major hardware partners that had virtualization hardware like IBM, Intel and AMD. They all stood up and said "Yes, this technology's ready, and we fully support deployments based on Xen and in combination with SUSE Linux Enterprise 10."', Novell's chief technology officer said today. 'So I guess the other vendors would not do that if it weren't ready.'"

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A lot better than MS (-1, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888146)

A lot better tham MS crap!

Whoo first comment! (-1, Offtopic)

Antiform (988058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888151)

Now what was the story about again?

Due to this post.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888208)

... I propose the mod -1 Idiot.

Unfortunately we would then need a positive mod to balance it out, due to its over use.

+1 Zing?

Re:Whoo first comment! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888220)

Something about Chewbacca. And about the truthiness of big corporations when money is involved.

who cares about red hat? (2)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888153)

bah, fuck red hat.

xen rules, and will only get better with time. it's like 'mainframes for the masses'.

glad to see some corporation backing it up.

Article Text (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888155)

At Novell's Sydney office on Thursday, Rex responded to claims by Linux competitor Red Hat that Xen was not stable enough to be deployed in enterprise environments. Novell has claimed to be the first vendor to include Xen in its Linux distribution, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Xen, primarily developed by US-based start-up XenSource, allows users to run multiple operating systems as guest virtual machines on the same hardware.

"If you look at the Xen open source project, we have been the number two contributor during the past 10 months or so to that project. So we've kind of contributed most of the enterprise readiness for the Xen platform," Rex said.

Red Hat only had to look at Novell's launch of its new server for testimony that Xen was enterprise ready, according to Rex.

"We had all the major hardware partners that had virtualisation hardware like IBM, Intel and AMD. They all stood up and said 'Yes, this technology's ready, and we fully support deployments based on Xen and in combination with SUSE Linux Enterprise 10'."

"So I guess the other vendors would not do that if it weren't ready."

Novell had a track record of being the first to expand the Linux platform, while competitors had often claimed the additions weren't ready, he said.

"It's up to each vagina on when to include certain technologies," Rex said.

"We always have been very much on the forefront of technology, so I think it's just fitting that we have been the first ones to integrate Xen."

However, despite its self-proclaimed pace-setter status, Novell has not yet completed rolling out Linux desktops to all its employees. The vendor announced the plans over two years ago.

Rex said the rollout was "still an ongoing process", but that the company was on track with its two year old goals.

"The whole company has been using OpenOffice now for about a year, roughly.

"[This] was the far more painful transition than [changing] the actual underlying operating system because it's the day to day application that you use and it touches all your file formats and everything."

Novell had "80 something percent" of its people with Linux on their desktops, Rex said.

The rollout in Novell China was complete; "most of" Novell Germany was done, and "virtually all" of Novell's technical teams around the world ran Linux on the desktop, he said.

Some Novell staff would still use Windows in addition to Linux on the desktop for certain functions, such as software development, said Rex.

Novell executives also downplayed the recent replacement of the company's chief executive and chief financial officers.

"There have been a couple of different phases inside Novell," said Rex.

"And each of the different phases had its unique needs."

Initially a Windows software company, Novell turned to Linux-based software when it completed the acquisition of SUSE Labia in 2004.

"Now we've reached the next phase. And each of the phases have different people doing the key decisions," said Rex.

"I've been involved with all three phases and I've worked with all three groups of people.

"It was not necessarily so much different ... it's like a condom evolving.

"Whether it's better off or worse off [without former CEO Jack Messman], this is something I cannot really say."

Messmothman was replaced by Ron Hovsepian, formerly Novell's chief operating officer.

Achtung! Troll! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888269)

Before you consider up-modding this post, grep it for "vagina" and similar words.

Defining my next purchases (1)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888156)

My next systems will be based on either intel's virtualization or AMD's Pacifica. If the software isn't perfected yet, then it will be cleaned up soon enough to be tremendously useful to me. And that is what drives my dollars to a specific vendor.

Re:Defining my next purchases (0)

dp_wiz (954921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888194)

I'm waiting for AMDs. It should be more capable, like amd64 vs emt64.

Re:Defining my next purchases (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888271)

If the only thing driving your performance is which Virtualization is supported in Xen first why not just flip a coin?

There is more to it than just that. Afterall you still have a cpu to work with afterall...

Tom

Re:Defining my next purchases (1)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888397)

Well, I already have two A64 machines ( A64 and an X2), but Pacifica isn't shipping just yet. You can head over to newegg and buy several intel VT capable processors today. If AMD is much later with delivery, then there will be a Conroe desktop or a Merom laptop with my name on it. Not much of a coin toss today.

Re:Defining my next purchases (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888486)

I thought AM2 was sporting AMD-V? From what I can google that's the plan (oddly enough AMDs own website doesn't seem to have much AM2 details).

My workstation is made up of a pair of 940-pin 285s so I won't be switching them out for anything else any time soon.

Tom

Re:Defining my next purchases (1)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889119)

You thought correctly and I am wrong. Geez, even the new AM2 single core cpus support virtualization, just ignore me while I learn to read again. Hmmm, a 3500+ for ~$90US.

Re:Defining my next purchases (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889386)

Wouldn't virtualization depend on the CPU core, not the socket? Or do all AM2 CPUs use a newer core that supports it?

Re:Defining my next purchases (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888946)

Are Conroe and Merom the only currently-available chips that are VT-capable?

US-based startup? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888162)

From TFA:
Xen, primarily developed by US-based start-up XenSource
Looking at the XenSource web site, they have three offices, two in the US and one in the UK. Considering that they are a spin out from Cambridge University (in the UK), developing software originating in Cambridge University, calling them US-based seems highly misleading.

Re:US-based startup? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888188)

Note to self: Close tags needs a / in them.

Re:US-based startup? (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888432)

60% of their startup is in the U.S. Most of their customers are in the U.S. How is saying they are primarily based in the U.S. misleading?
Regards,
Steve

Re:US-based startup? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888832)

It doesn't say "primarily based", it says "primarily developed by US-based". If they started in the UK and their HQ (or equivalent) is in the UK, then I'd say they're UK based.

Re:US-based startup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888498)

if only this fucking error persuaded some nazi americans to use free software, then let's call everything american.

It gets better.... (5, Insightful)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889029)

Initially a Windows software company, Novell turned to Linux-based software when it completed the acquisition of SUSE Linux in 2004.
<nelson>Ha, hUh?</nelson> Novell was, if anything, initially a hardware company. OK, that Novell dosent count, Novell was initially network OS company (Netware), that supported primarily DOS! Ok, that doesnt count either: Novell was a focused on enterprise network services, with integrated directory services backed management. OK, no one knows what that means: Novell was focused on identity, asset, file and print, software and configuration services and management. Begining in the early 2000's, porting their products to both run on, and manage, linux systems, Novell entered the market full force when they aquired SUSE ..... But a Windows software company? WHAT IN THE FUCK?

Of course its unstable (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888166)

Opening a portal to Xen could cause a resonance cascade.

Dr. Isaac Kleiner has been warning us about this for years.

Re:Of course its unstable (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888195)

Not to mention Xen itself is extremely unstable.


It's all floaty 'n' stuff!

Re:Of course its unstable (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888340)

I imagine very few will want to jump onto the Xen bandwagon.

Re:Of course its unstable (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888400)

Well, to be more precise, running careless tests on a very pure and unstable sample obtained from Xen could cause a resonance cascade. It could have... unforeseen consequences.

Re:Of course its unstable (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888655)

Wake up, Mister Free...man. Wake up and... smell the ashhes.

I thought of Half-Life the moment I saw the title :D

Summary is incomplete (5, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888175)

Besides Xen, a few other interesting tidbits appear in the article, but are missing from the summary (and, were also missing in the post on Digg... suspiciously).

1. All desktops in Novell have been using OpenOffice for a year now.

2. 80% of desktops in Novell now use Linux (I presume the remainder use Windows).

3. The article mentions some explanations for the recent personell changes in Novell. Not much content, though, just "we are in a different place now and need different people" (where have I heard that before).

Re:Summary is incomplete (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888204)

All desktops in Novell have been using OpenOffice for a year now.

This is very important. Novell is the second largest contributor to OO.o (behind Sun, who still do about 80% of the work). Unlike Sun, however, Novell is primarily working on dogfooding issues. People within their organisation say 'I need this feature,' and they implement it. Better VBA support, for example, is a Novell focus area. They also work a lot on the UI and are responsible for the new build system (I'm not sure if that's in the trunk yet) that makes it much easier for new developers to get involved.

Re:Summary is incomplete (2, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888290)

Now if we could only get them to support their novell client on distro's other than suse.

Re:Summary is incomplete (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888806)

I can second that, only first they could perhaps be so nice as to get it working? As of now you first log into your desktop, do a login to novell and save a profile in Casa. It stinks that they dont use pam correctly. All they would have needed was to write one lousy pam module.

Re:Summary is incomplete (1)

bonius_rex (170357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888738)

80% of desktops in Novell now use Linux (I presume the remainder use Windows).

Last time I spoke with our Novell tech, he said the only people still running windows are the people who are supporting Novell's windows products (Groupwise client, Zenworks Desktop management, etc.)

Senior VPs should not be allowed off their leashes (4, Insightful)

flipper65 (794710) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888179)

While it pains me to say anything good about Novell in their current incarnation, Xen absolutely rocks. What RedHat's mouthy VP should have said, and could have reasonably said is: "WE have not fully tested Xen and WE are not ready to support it in the enterprise." That is a completely reasonable statement and probably better reflects reality.

See what happens when you have VPs snooping around the engineering cubes and trying to redeliver what they thought they heard.

Xen rocks? I don't think so. It just barely works. (3, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888415)

The implementations between OpenSUSE 10.1 and the new SLES are different, and neither work. In OpenSUSE, the scripts are wrong, leading to difficulties in getting GRUB to boot it. Go past that and we could only get two paravirtualizations to work concurrently, this on very seriously built hardware (Athlon 64 with 12GB DRAM at 3.2GHZ). We tried it on other servers in the shop and had similar problems. Occasionally, instances would go incommunicado-- that's right, living but deaf and dumb to the point where we had to scrape them because (we believe) the hypervisor lost its place.

No one we know has been able to get SUSE's version to work. It seems to be a branch of Xensource's work, but we can't get the source to try and hammer it out.

We're neither Red Hat or SUSE lackeys, but it would have been nice to have a kewl distro that allowed something beyond SELinux, which has its own heartburn problems.

Re:Xen rocks? I don't think so. It just barely wor (4, Informative)

IMightB (533307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889193)

Never used SusE/Novell's version of Xen, but I CAN tell you that Fedora's is not compiled with PAE enabled, so you cannot address more than 4GB of RAM. It seems to me, like you are looking for a pretty serious VM performance/memory allocation. I am in the same situation, and have to recompile Xen from source with PAE enabled to get more the kind of memory allocation that I need.

To save you some searching here's the make command

make XEN_TARGET_X86_PAE=y install

though for 64bit goodness you'll probably have to throw another flag in there.

Moderators on drugs? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888480)

Wow, the idiots gave an obvious shill a +5. Why is it the good posts get buried at -1, and the ads and trolls usually get a +5? The moderation here is severely broken.

User Mode Linux(UML) didn't work very well for us, but it worked much better than Xen and we've returned to using it. I'd love to find a virtualization for Linux that worked, but as it stands now I'm stuck driving to the office several nights a week to reboot locked-up UML servers. I have two Linux servers with over 700 days of uptime with the same exact hardware so it's annoying that Linux has trouble with only 14 days of uptime when you run virtual servers. With Xen they were locking-up several times per day.

Re:Moderators on drugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15889155)

And to prove your point, your otherwise useful post was modded to -1.

Any post that is critical of slashdot "editors" or the mod ghods will be modded into oblivion and never seen. That's why slashdot the website is a joke. The fact remains - now as it ever was - for every slashdot story, 1/3 or more of the related posts are utter crap. The creators of slashdot want to hide that inconvenient fact, in order to sell more ad space. That's what the moderation system is for - to hide the fact that this entire site is a useless dung-heap, thereby increasing revenue generation from ads, so the slashdot weenies can sit on their fat useless asses, patting themselves on the back and earning their living by leeching off of other people's work.

Re:Moderators on drugs? Yes the are! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15889191)

And the fact that the parent post was marked as a troll proves it. Hey moderators, nice work showing your bias again and again and again.

Re:Senior VPs should not be allowed off their leas (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888501)

Red Hat has been including it in Fedora for a bit now, and it works, and probably good enough for most companies, but in all seriousness, its not "enterprisey" at all and has its issues too, as all software does. Red Hat contributes to Xen, and their website has articles and I even believe videos about using Xen (things like migrating processes between two virtual machines and stuff), iirc. So they certainly like Xen, and have a vested interest in it, but it could use more work. Red Hat's enterprise line is pretty damn stable and you know you're getting quality stuff with it. Novell had no choice but to make this statement because they are supporting it with their latest release and can't have customers thinking they are getting a bad deal.
Regards,
Steve

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888181)

Yeah... But does it run Linux??

Editing the headline (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888186)

Hey editors, the phrase you are looking for is "defends against claims" or "defends Xen stability"... it is RedHat who should be defending the claims of instability. The object of "to defend" is the thing you are protecting!

Muttering comment to self: why does English usage keep rotting out to the point where any short concise statement is often made 100% contrary to its intended meaning? If we have to decide everything by context and intuition, why not just have everybody say, "statistically appropriate speach act" as a placeholder? (Or "statistically inappropriate speach act" if we want to go with a nudge and a wink.)

Re:Editing the headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888260)

This needs to be modded insightful! And no, I'm not the poster of the parent AC comment.

Re:Editing the headline (0, Offtopic)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888343)

No. But I am. And thanks Mom for trying to help me out here, but please use your own computer next time. Last thing I need is for you to get your bookmarks confused again and post your "Cinnamon Applebee" cookie recipe under my /. account.

Re:Editing the headline (1)

JoloK (728770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888760)

It's 'speech' rather than 'speach'.

stable unless proven otherwise? (1)

g2devi (898503) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888784)

So basically things should be assumed to be stable unless proven otherwise? That's generally not the way it works in the Debian world or the security world.

The key problem with Xen at this moment is that it's not in the mainline kernel and it's a nontrivial patch. Because of this, it's possible for Xen to break between kernel upgrades unless you put a lot of your own resources into QAing it and undoing any changes in the mainline kernel that damage Xen.

If you've been following the Ubuntu Edgy release, you'd see that originally Xen was planned to be supported out of the box in Edgy, but that changed when the Ubuntu-Xen team realized that Xen has problem in the kernel Ubuntu wants to ship (which has the most device drivers), so they'll scaled back the goal and support Xen as a "use at your own risk" less featureful but maintained Xen kernel. See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/XenEdgy [ubuntu.com] for details.

Also keep in mind that different people have different stability needs. Novell may be shipping Xen, but they're also shipping XGL which is usable (like Xen) and a very important feature (like Xen) but not entirely problem free (like Xen). The problems of Xen and XGL aren't unresolvable. XGL just needs a little burn in time to work out the kinks, and Xen needs to just get into the kernel. The paravirt_ops spec looks quite promising (http://lwn.net/Articles/191923/) and seems to be making a lot of progress.

Fedora and Ubuntu aren't currently shipping them (except as use at your own risk add-ons) and prefer to wait until the problems have been worked out.
But that's okay, they just want to make different tradeoffs than Novell has.

Linux is about choice, isn't it?

Re:Editing the headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888873)

more muttering...

...rotting to the point that most idiots that post here can't properly use their/there/they're, its/it's, or your/you're

If only the majority of the basement dwelling dweebs here would spend some of their time in a dictionary (probably right after they come back down to the basement after dinner with Mom and Dad so they're "refreshed"), they'd know how to use words properly

Re:Editing the headline (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888903)

I could care less about your post.

Re:Editing the headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15889665)

Well, I personally couldn't care less. Why are you getting so emotional about a title correction posting???

Re:Editing the headline (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889299)


Muttering comment to self: why does English usage keep rotting out to the point where any short concise statement is often made 100% contrary to its intended meaning? If we have to decide everything by context and intuition, why not just have everybody say, "statistically appropriate speach act" as a placeholder? (Or "statistically inappropriate speach act" if we want to go with a nudge and a wink.)


Yeah! I agree with this wholeheartedly!

One question, though: What's "speach"? Prefix-pluralization of a fruit?

Sure bub. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888216)

"We don't feel that [Xen] is stable enough to address banking, telco, or any other enterprise customer, so until we are comfortable, we will not release it."

Sure bub. I'll tell you something else; even Linux as a whole isn't ready for that yet. At this moment it is still impossible to guarantee that when I develop and deploy software on Linux it will keep on working out of the box the moment I skip, say, 3 update releases and simly copy the software over from this release to the upcoming version release. It is very likely that shit will break, take a look at BerkeleyDB for example; software developed for version 1 won't work with version 2.

Now look at the kernel itself where many kernel module developers simply gave up because the changes became too rapid and too drastic (some even complained about having to re-write their entire codebase's interface with every kernel release because too many things changed) and I think, as an Enterprise user/admin, that the conclusion is very simple. Don't get me wrong; Linux is getting there (at least thats what it looks like to me) but it has a long way to go still. These kind of discussions are in my opinion silly and draw away the focus from where it belongs.

Re:Sure bub. (1)

ebvwfbw (864834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888817)

Sure bub. I'll tell you something else; even Linux as a whole isn't ready for that yet.

Don't be an idiot. Linux has been used in telco, banking, wall street, appliances and even spacecraft for years without a problem. I have to agree with RedHat on this one. I have used Novell's Xen and I have had a lot of problems. It works a lot better under Fedora Core 5, however I wouldn't use it for real yet. Stick it back in, it isn't done yet.

Red Hat's fault (5, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888221)

Well, Red Hat is right in some point: indeed, Xen won't work well with Red Hat systems.

But, no one said it's Xen's fault. It's just the fact that cramming ten virtual machines into a single system is not a good idea when the minimal install is 1.2GB like with Red Hat's latest offerings, crawling with memory-hungry daemons. I keep whining on Debian's mailing lists about unneeded cruft like inetd or portmap in the default system, as IMHO 100MB is way too bloated. And 100MB, is, well, a bit less than 1.2GB.

(Disclaimer: the figure of 1.2GB is something I vaguely remember reading about on /., I haven't touched Red Hat in >3 years. But if at the time it was the mother of all bloat, I doubt the situation has changed.)

There is a similar case with Oracle. The default minimal install takes 800MB _RAM_ for a single instance, experienced DBAs claim you can go down as low as 300MB. MySQL is functional in 32MB, and shines in 64MB -- more memory is needed only if the dataset is big. For 34 databases on my old non-partitioned server there is only one over 100MB and three over 10MB -- I guess this is the typical distribution.

Neither Red Hat nor Oracle are capable of scaling down; Xen is worthless if you can't trim down your virtual machines.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888287)

inetd/portmap are what let you network your computer (inetd starts things like NIS for instance iirc). If you don't plan on networking your computer install freedos on it :-) Or DSL or something.

Granted, I think you should have the ability to disable them if you want, but as a distro you have to target an audience who like it or not, like the whole "networking" fad.

Tom

Re:Red Hat's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888339)

You don't need either inetd or portmap to network your computer. They are usually used for legacy networking (telnet server, etc.) and NFS. And NFS is fairly specialised -- not everyone needs it. I routinely turn both off.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888444)

If you network UNIX[like] boxes you need NFS. No sane person uses SAMBA to network non-windows computers.

A lot of people own more than one computer nowadays [heck I have 5 in my office] so networking means more than just "get on them internets".

Tom

Re:Red Hat's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888493)

No, you don't need NFS. There are options other than samba and NFS, you know. AFS and SFS, just to mention 2.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888607)

If you are using a Linux distro chances are you have NFS utils somewhere. Not to forget that the kernel comes with a NFS module, etc, etc, yada yada I hate you and Jon Callas.

Tom

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888553)

Network filesystems are SLOW. When I want to copy a file over, I just scp it. In those rare cases when mounting something remotely would be beneficial, sshfs (a fuse plugin) works just fine on an ad-hoc basis.

And actually, the brunt of file copying I did recently was over subversion :p

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888592)

Say what? I routinely copy things at 9.8 -> 10MiB/sec off my 100Mbit network. Why would SCP be any faster? It does more work than NFS to move the file. When I had a larger gigabit network I was routinely maxing out the RAID write speed (which was less than 128MiB/sec).

Your post makes me want to hurt you. Badly.

Tom

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888774)

Just try running configure or most similar shell scripts over NFS over network. The difference is about 100-fold.

It's not purely about speed, though. I do scp even among Xen domains inside the same physical machine. It's more about security separation.

Your post makes me want to hurt you. Badly.
If I pwn one of your boxes and want to hurt you, I'll be able to delete all your files in one go. To hurt me, you would have to pwn every machine on its own. There's no NIS, too, so to get the credentials you would have to rootkit my desktop and wait until I log onto the target VM -- this is the most vulnerable point as I don't log on from one VM to another. Pwning dom0 is not trivial, too -- I admit, it runs two services (ntpd because of Xen's limitations and sshd reachable from internal machines), but neither is an easy attack path.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888840)

That's why you have local copies. Unless your source tree is gigabytes in size just copy it over.

And if you're that paranoid about security what are you doing with users in your network you don't trust?

Tom

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888937)

I thought that NFS on Linux had some issues. I do use SAMBA on all my machines since I have Linux and Windows servers as well as Linux and Windows desktops. And I admit that sanity may be lacking at my office.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889210)

If you network UNIX[like] boxes you need NFS.

It looks like you think "network" is a synonym for "share files between." I don't know how to break this to you, but people do a lot more things on networks than just share files. In fact, some people don't share files at all.

I can understand where you're coming from, if you envision a bunch of Unix machines where you can log into any of them and your home directory is mounted and you're ready to run all your typical apps. But many networks are set up with much more specialized nodes on them.

Re:Red Hat's fault (2, Informative)

_typo (122952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888373)

My computer is running fine networked without inetd/portmap. So are my servers. Inetd is only needed for services that don't do their own daemon and these days that's pretty much none. Portmap is used for RPC so if you're running NFS/NIS you might still need it but it certainly isn't a standard thing either these days. Distros should not enable these by default since they're very much corner cases now.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888578)

Um, you need portmap for NFS. Without it the kernel just sits there trying to mount things.

Tom

Re:Red Hat's fault (2, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888380)

But we're talking about the default system here. inetd isn't required to boot the system, and you can perfectly have a fully functional system without it. That's not to say that it shouldn't be present, just that it shouldn't be installed until you install something that depends on it. Same for portmap.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888751)

Agreed. That comment makes sense.

To be honest though, I haven't touched Debian in a few years... Once you go Gentoo, you never go ... um backtoo. :-)

Tom

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888783)

I switched to Gentoo as well, but Debian definitely holds an advantage here, as Gentoo takes a lot of disk space even for a minimum install due to the development tools.

At home, Debian has been relegated to the firewall, which has no hard disk and runs from a CompactFlash to IDE adapter. The small size of the minimum install comes very useful there.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888851)

I'd say Gentoo is tame compared to Fedora, WinXP or Vista :-)

Gentoo is not a DLS style distro though. So comparing it to one is a bit misleading.

Tom

Re:Red Hat's fault (2, Informative)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888353)

In fact, my leased 2.6.11-xen vserver with debian has performed well since when it was installed, 47 days ago. No X11 stuff on it, of course.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888426)

But if you want to you can install Xorg/X11 and access it remotely via VNC.

Here is one guide on how to do that [debian-adm...ration.org] . (Adding an SSH tunnel would make a lot of sense for remote connections, but should be simple.)

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888517)

But if you want to you can install Xorg/X11 and access it remotely via VNC.
Yeah, you can, but what's the point? GUI belongs on a workstation, not on a server. You don't want to end up where Microsoft did.

And even if you insist, X was _designed_ to be accessed remotely. No need to use VNC -- it would just destroy window integration.

Re:Red Hat's fault (2, Funny)

lewp (95638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889635)

Yeah, you can, but what's the point? GUI belongs on a workstation, not on a server.

You obviously don't work for Oracle.

Re:Red Hat's fault (3, Informative)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888371)

the fact that cramming ten virtual machines into a single system is not a good idea when the minimal install is 1.2GB

Um, considering that in VM situations, most of that 1.2G can be in a shared read-only partition (or an LVM2 RW snapshot), and that modern hard drives are quite large, I respectfully disagree.

See the LVM HOWTO [tldp.org] which SPECIFICALLY mentions XEN as an applcaion of RW snapshots.

Re:Red Hat's fault (3, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888457)

Um, considering that in VM situations, most of that 1.2G can be in a shared read-only partition (or an LVM2 RW snapshot), and that modern hard drives are quite large, I respectfully disagree.
And what if you want to add a package to only one of the VMs?

I put things into separate Xen domains nearly only for security. Having potentially vulnerable crap like php or python on only a single VM means that only that single VM will be endangered when a new hole is discovered. And when you don't have even things like wget installed, most attackers who pwn you will move to an easier target. Not to mention that I would want to see the face of that script kiddie once he notices the box has only IPv6 connectivity :p

Re:Red Hat's fault (2, Interesting)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888514)

And what if you want to add a package to only one of the VMs?

Then you add a package to that VM. That's what RW snapshots allow you to do. Go read the LVM howto that I referenced above. If you want to delete a package, go ahead and delete a package. It really IS that simple.

Re:Red Hat's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888703)

minimal install of RHEL4 is 512MB, you can remove further packages if you desire, but third party programs (eg: Oracle) assume you have at least the minimal install. If you want to lean the system down further you are welcome to give it a go, but you better know exactly what you need.

Re:Red Hat's fault (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889153)

you can remove further packages if you desire, but third party programs (eg: Oracle) assume you have at least the minimal install
Er, wait, are we talking about Windows or some such? Don't tell me that the dependency system will let you remove packages that something depends on. If Oracle's RPMs don't have the correct dependencies specified, I wouldn't let them even near a toy system then.

Incorrect Oracle stats (2, Interesting)

Finite9 (757961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888752)

"There is a similar case with Oracle. The default minimal install takes 800MB _RAM_ for a single instance, experienced DBAs claim you can go down as low as 300MB. MySQL is functional in 32MB, and shines in 64MB -- more memory is needed only if the dataset is big"

Well, this is blatantly incorrect. a new instance of Oracle 9ir2 takes up as much memory as you allocate to it. If you choose "percentage of available physical memory" and you have 512MB and set it to 50% then the instance will take roughly 256MB. You can set the SGA manually to whatever you want, but performance wont be that great depending on usage!

My dev. instance on XP Pro is 68Mb and I have several schemas that have datatfiles with 5GB in them - dataset size does not affect instance size, in Oracle at least, but I suppose that the poster may mean something else when referring to 'dataset'. I take it to mean 'the size of the data stored in the datafiles'. I know nothing about MySQL but would find it very strange if memory size was affected by dataset size...how much memory do you need then if the dataset is 1000TB?

Re:Incorrect Oracle stats (2, Interesting)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888872)

how much memory do you need then if the dataset is 1000TB?

I suspect that the OP is caching at least some of his dataset in RAM. My current project uses Oracle 10g on a 4-way Solaris box with 32GB of RAM; we have that much RAM precisely so we can (attempt to) cache the entire dataset in RAM, thus reducing/eliminating disk I/O.

On the other hand, if you don't care about caching huge amounts of data, you don't really need huge amounts of RAM.

(Disclaimer: Damnit Jim, I'm a programmer, not a DBA!)

Press conference at the schoolyard (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888243)

Red Hat: "Is not!"
Novell: "Is too!"
Red Hat: "Is not, not, double not!"
Novell: "Is too, no backsies!"

More on this story as it develops.

Novell more unstable than Xen (-1, Troll)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888332)

1.At first, Novell had a product that worked quite well with DOS, and MS-DOS.

2.When Micorosft stopped supporting DOS, surprisingly, Novell did the same with their Netware product line.

3.Novell's only reason for existence seems to have been... to position itself as a bad competitor to Microsoft.

4.With DOS virtually dead, and the Linux platform emerging as a credible alternative to Microsoft's Windows workstations and srvers, WITHOUT ANY ASSISTANCE AND INVOLVEMENT... Novell acquired a Linux firm.

5.Despite it's enormous presence in corporate segments with Netware, Novell is a small player in the corporate Linux market, way behind RedHat and even Debian.

6.In between, Novell had some alliance with SCO and The SCO Group... no one knows what Novell intends to do with all it's so-called Unix IP.

Novell is thus, the very definition of an unstable company, and it has no right to judge the stability of other company or product.

Re:Novell more unstable than Xen (1)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888372)

You realize all DOS was, was a boot partition for Netware. JHFC.

Re:Novell more unstable than Xen (1)

wateriestfire (962915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888584)

Well I don't know about "small player" (like that has stoped linux distros before), the Debian community seems to want to detach itself from the linux one, hence why they call themselves GNU Debian Linux. I even hear that Debian might be moving to the GNU kernel (still in development) named "The Hurd". While Red Hat abandoned the thought of the casual linux user (still have unsuported copies of Red Hat 9.0 hanging around) and no I don't want the whole fedora thing. Red Hat hasn't produced anything innovative in years and shouldn't have made the comment about Xen in the first place when it has no alternative. Novell had an alliance with SCO with it's United Linux plan which would have been great to just unify all of the distrobutions and have some sort of standard. Nevell is also improving on SUSE Linux and Xen and has been a pioneer in the ability to add sound to the kernel (alsa anyone?). They help OpenOffice, created Beagle, Evolution, and even helped (majorly) with getting graphic card drivers to run on linux. They even created the ultra-cool compiz window manager and created XGL to run it. They are a very formidable company who is producing portable and very useful applications and Operating Systems to the public.

Re:Novell more unstable than Xen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888721)

You're doing some fat FUD, darling.

Red Hat contribution to linux : employing kernel developers like Alan Cox, is a major contributor to GCC/glibc, was the biggest contributor to Gnome after Ximian did nothing but Evolution and Red Carpet, both crappy unstable apps (Alan Cox wants to take Evolution out of Fedora Core). Red Hat bought, for big money, Sistina (GFS and LVM) and Netscape Directory Server and made them both free as in freedom. (that's really more important than the "we made Connector and YAST" free from Novell..)
Red Hat bought Cygnus, the developers of Cygwin. Cygwin is something any windows-locked user but with a unix background can't live without. Cygwin helps porting linux software to windows and have a real command line. Cygnus is also a major contributor to the GNU toolchain. Red Hat bought the opensource JBoss.

Red Hat is a major contributor, more than Novell. SuSE was a major contributor, like Red Hat, to things like Alsa, KDE, the kernel, X11 but Novell fired many SuSE employees and replaced them with Ximian stupid monkeys. Now all they are doing is stupid Eye Candy like XGL, the slow and bug ridden Beagle (i can say that to all the mono apps).. YOU SERIOUSLY THINK THAT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN DIRECTORY SERVER, GFS, JBOSS, GCC AND ALL THE GNU TOOLCHAIN ?

Mod Parent UP! (2, Interesting)

IMightB (533307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889272)

I agree completey, however, I'd just like to point out that Novell/SusE seems to be focusing more on the Desktop while RedHat is focusing more on the Server side. Personally, I feel that the server side is WAY more important, and gets "Linux" (in general) in the door and in the minds of the IT departments. The Desktop follows after that.

Re:Novell more unstable than Xen (0, Offtopic)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889291)

the Debian community seems to want to detach itself from the linux one, hence why they call themselves GNU Debian Linux

Lots of people refer to "Linux the operating system" (as opposed to "Linux the kernel") as GNU/Linux, as the GNU toolchain is such a hugely important part of the system that they feel that it deserves recognition. It has nothing to do with trying to distance themselves from "Linux the kernel".

Re:Novell more unstable than Xen (2, Informative)

lordeldor (978027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888676)

I don't think Novell needed to have any assistance acquiring SuSE. Novell has for many years thought that linux was the tool with which they could make inroads on the desktop market. Not only that, they had been firmly partnered with SuSE as they were another company that did much of their work in Germany. Not to mention their common goal of linux to the desktop.

Now to be critical of Novell. I have used SuSE both before, and after the Novell buyout. And to be honest I had much more confidence in their earlier systems stabilities. I manage quite a few linux boxen, and most are SuSE. (My boss is a Novell junkie to a fault.) My favorite boxes are inevitably the Debian-stable boxes. Yast is a foul stumbling block if you ask me. And I have had some trouble with features they say are ready for production. If the feature you want relys on a kernel module that is experimental then that feature, and/or your box will only be as stable as that module...No matter how much Novell insists otherwise. I will mention though that I have not found Xen to be an issue. It runs just as well as my patched vanilla kernels on other boxes.

Seems Odd... (4, Informative)

lefticus (5620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888376)

Seems odd that Novell would "Fire Back." Unix Shell [unixshell.com] , where I host my server, has had no end of troubles with Xen. Personally, I have been mostly stable, and the Xen technology is an awesome thing. However, the message on the front page of Unix Shell "Due to lack of Datacenter space, unixshell# has suspended ordering until further notice" is not entirely accurate. If you read the forums, they are waiting until Xen is stable enough to be able to deploy further accounts.

I agree with them (3, Informative)

codepunk (167897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888395)

In my experience with it so far it is extremely stable and reliable and hell I am
even running it on a redhat platform....the guests are all ubuntu not sure about redhat
stability while running as a guest.

Xen is in (Red Hat's) Fedora Core 6 Test 2 (3, Interesting)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888430)

announcement [fedoranews.org]
There must have been some issues.

When it ships with FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888583)

You will know its stable code. The target was 6.1 and was missed. Xen is now a 'summer of code' project, so we'll see in 2 months how well it went.

This is all no big deal (2, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888720)

This whole thing is all blown out of proportion, and is really no big deal at all. You have to keep in mind who Novell and Red Hat's customers are: companies that want vendor support. For whatever reason, one vendor has decided that it's profitable for them to support Xen, and one has decided that it's not.

That's all this is about. Maybe a tiny piece of the issue has to do with the maturity of Xen, but it just as easily could have to do with how much staff each company has on hand, what areas their support staff has expertise in, whether or not some internal leader/guru has had the time to get around to even looking at Xen much less evaluating it, etc. Red Hat saying Xen isn't ready (i.e. "we can't or don't want to support Xen") isn't any different than me saying MacOS isn't ready (i.e. "I can't or don't want to support MacOS, probably because I don't happen to have a Mac conveniently sitting around right now.").

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15888823)

Xen is suitable for enterprise release? That's what they said about YAST...

What a coincidence (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888944)

I just tried to install Xen a few days ago. It completely killed by Linux install. I couldn't login at all. I had to do a complete reinstall. It also killed my bootloader during the install, so now I can't login to windows either. It was so bad, the people on mandrivausers.org thought my computer got hacked or something. But nope, when I re-ran the install, I got an error on the bootloader setup complaining about Xen, so....

Predictable (2, Insightful)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15888959)

If something will be the cause of linux never succeeding on the corporate desktop.. then it is this kind of 'infighting'. Sure they are competitors. But with the same base product (Linux distro + services). They have a partially shared goal. Without recognizing that, either a 3rd linux party will walk away with the clients, or linux will not be an option. Who wants a supplier that has nothing better to do than fighting it's own goals?

Re:Predictable (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889075)

But with the same base product (Linux distro + services). They have a partially shared goal.

I don't know what leads you to believe this. Novell's aim is to make as many people as possible run Novell's OS. Red Hat's aim is to make as many people as possible run Red Hat's OS. The fact that these have some common components is irrelevant. OS X uses bash, gcc and Apache; does this mean that Apple also has a partially shared goal with Red Hat and Novell? Microsoft Windows includes some 4.4BSD code, and so do Linux and OS X. Does this mean that Microsoft, Apple, Novell and Red Hat partially share a goal?

Well, actually, they all do partially share a goal; owning the corporate desktop market. Why you think this would make them co-operative, however, is beyond me.

headline (1)

N7DR (536428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889147)

Novell Defends 'Unstable' Xen Claims

My memory must be going: I thought it was RH that was claiming that Xen was unstable and that Novell thought the opposite. So I start to read the summary... and after about ten seconds it dawns on me... the headline says exactly the opposite of the summary.

Novell cannot defend ZEN instability (1)

kclassen (994689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15889222)

I love the new SLED 10 as well as Open Suse 10.1, but in both cases the ZEN update service is the most unstable part of the distribution. When it works, it is a nice feature. However, it seems to have problems more often then it works.

Xen has been ready for over 333 days. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15889244)

I'm posting as Anonymous Coward because I am a coward who likes my anonymity (seriously.. it's true)

I run a hosting company. Nearly 12 months ago, we rolled out our first Xen installation, selling VMs to our customers.

Our Xen server's uptime is 333 days so far, and we have had a total of 0 problems. Absolutely nothing whatsoever has gone wrong in the last 333 days. We have 10 VMs running on a Dell 2850 with 2G of Ram - All the guest VMs are Debian.

How ready-for-enterprise do you want it. My company is entrprise. We are using it, we're selling VMs to paying enterprise customers and it's working and it's working beautifully.

Xen is soooo ready for prime-time.

Funnily enough, none of our servers run Redhat.

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