Compiling Virtual Tools (XEN based) Virtual Iron?

Forums Network Management ZeroShell Compiling Virtual Tools (XEN based) Virtual Iron?

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    I have booted ZeroShell to a VirtualIron Virtual Server off the ISO and it seems to work. I have even configured the 1GB profile disk to be presented off the SAN, and the idea of storing your firewall config on SAN is quite appealing!

    However there is a snag. The guys at Virtual Iron only support RH, Centos, SEL and Oracle for their Virtual Tools. The tools enable all sorts of additional features such as accelerated NIC drivers, the ability to automatically migrate the ZeroShell VM to other hardware nodes if there’s a problem.

    However – ZeroShell is built from scratch Linux.

    So will it ever be possible to compile these drivers to ZS? What would doing this involve?

    As Virtual Server platforms become more ‘hardened’ I see huge opportunity for ZeroShell, with it’s excellent feature set, to make Virtual Datacentres secure ‘inside’ as well as ‘outside’ the virtual platform…

    I know there are far fewer people using Virtual Iron than VMWare, but feature for feature it’s the closest match and it’s hugely cheaper than VMWare, it’s also simpler to get running and manage.

    Anyway… if it were possible, it would be interesting!



    Jeff, let me investigate about this possibility.
    The 1.0.beta10 release includes a Kernel compiled with the XEN support. In any case, I was not able to start the CompactFlash version in a XEN host and I do not know why. Could you tell me if you are using the unmodified Kernel of Zeroshell or a generic domU Kernel? Do you use para virtualization or fully virtualization?



    Hi Fulvio,

    Well I downloaded the ZS ISO, uploaded it to the VM ISO repo, selected it as the boot source, and wham bam – it works. So I guess therefore it uses the standard kernel?

    Virtual Iron is a bit ‘special’ (so it has something in common with ZeroShell already!) in that there is *far* less overhead on the VM – you get near native performance. Pretty cool stuff.

    They get this, because they have implemented “Native Virtualisation over Paravirtualisation”. So basically, I guess native.

    Is this good news or bad news!!?

    I also notice the following paragraph in the ‘Tools’ README:

    “Newer guest OS releases may contain bundled Xen virtualization features. In
    particular, in SLES 10 SP1 certain Xen kernel components are installed by
    default and conflict with the Virtual Iron binary drivers. The packages
    containing these components must be removed prior to successfully installing
    the binary Virtual Iron package, whether using the prebuilt Virtual Iron tools
    or building your own from the source kit.”

    I have the .tar source kit if that might help?



    After I do a uname -a

    Linux #1 SMP




    Could you try if the release 1.0.beta9 works fine too. The kernel of this release has not support for XEN. At this point I suspect that it works too. I need to understand if in the next release is convenient to keep XEN support enabled.



    OK I have tried release b9 and – as you suspected – it loads up in Virtual Iron just as b10 does.

    I do a uname -a and I get kernel

    I assign two virtual NICs, they both appear, I can get in to the Web admin etc. The NICs show up as as Realtek 8139, 8139C, 8139+ rev. 20 for either version. These are the 100Mb drivers, the Virtual Iron tools enable 1Gb.

    This morning I have noticed a new problem actually, in that the hard disk presented from the SAN, but to GOS it’s a SCSI HDD.

    I think I created the profile / DB ok, but when I rebooted ZS, the profile is not found. Once back in ZS web interface, the disk is there to be seen, as is the DB, but there are no ‘profile’ settings. When I look at the filesystem I see the _DB.001.AUX file (250MB)..

    So not really sure how to load my profile back – I’ wondering if this is a problem with the virtual environment, but it’s just presenting a ‘normal’ disk, so I don’t see how!?

    If it were possible to simple copy everything to the HDD, and therefore booting everything right off the SAN, that would be the best way to do it I think… is there a ‘copy ZS to local HDD’ option anywhere?

    Anyway – hope this info helps.



    Oh forget that last issue with the profile not re-loading after GOS reboot.

    Perhaps I didn’t format the disk properly. I formatted from within ZS, created a new database, and powered on / off a couple of times, all fine.

    So that was a bogus issue I think…


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