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[Xen-users] Re: [Xen-devel] Idea for future xen development: PV file sys

To: George Shuklin <george.shuklin@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Xen-users] Re: [Xen-devel] Idea for future xen development: PV file system
From: Pasi Kärkkäinen <pasik@xxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2010 15:49:16 +0300
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On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 03:35:43PM +0400, George Shuklin wrote:
> Good day.
> Few days I have discussion with colleagues about file-based space
> provisioning for xen VM's. Obvious solution is 'pure NFS' VM (with root
> file system on NFS server). But NFS have two serious disadvantages:
> 1) NFS required network level. Even network is fast, you need to send
> and receive packets for every file operation. That's create a huge
> difference in performance between local FS on network block device and
> NFS.
> 2) NFS is not very secure. Yes, there is  NFS4 with kerberos, but it
> changed model of user rights, so NFS-server administrator must be aware
> about every user of every VM. It's opposite to idea of 'here your
> directory do you want to do in NFS3'. 
> (I can say third: you need network in VM to works with NFS).
> So, here two main problems: network overhead and bad security. ... But
> if we can  solve them with nice and fast Xen mechanisms of IDC (inter
> domain communications)?
> All we need is create a daemon for dom0 to export directories from 'own'
> local filesystem (it can resides on local disk, iscsi or be gfs, any
> kind of hyper-mega-cluster-fs) and simple PV driver for domU translating
> requests from domU to daemon in dom0. It will be like xen block device:
> minimalistic and simple. It will offload all real work to well-tested
> product filesystems in dom0 (it can be even not a dom0, but any other
> stubdomain).
> All need do a 'xen pvfs' driver is translate every request to fs via
> shared mem, xenstore and xen-events to pvfs daemon.
> Work of daemon in dom0 (or stubdomain) will be slightly large. It will
> need to:
> 1) check access rights (may be in form like NFS with domID instead IP's)
> 2) translate requests to underlying filesystem.
> 3) translate f/s replies (include errors and so on).
> I see forth job: maintain disk quote for every dom (because access to
> filesystem will occur (may be) from root, and root will be differ
> between domUs, we need do some more checking at daemon level.
> Now about advantages of this system:
> 1) We will gain file-level access. That's means easy access to
> filesystem of domU without mount/umount process.
> 2) We will able to use single volume for few virtual machines,
> increasing server consolidation.
> 3) Currently VM is have certain troubles with sudden block device size
> changes. We can resize filesystems, but even LVM not ready for PV size
> changes. And, if we talking about space reduction, every FS do it
> slowly, so it can not be normal process like xenballooning. Using single
> FS we will able to use single space for every VM (and quotes will helps
> us to keep every VM within limits).
> 4) Any deduplication capabilities will work more efficiently with file
> deduplication instead block-level deduplication.
> 5) ... and we can start thinging about openvz-like system with container
> templates (where duplicated files on filesystem are simply links to
> original).
> Now about sad thing. I'd like to say 'I will write it', but my
> programming level is far beyond required, so I simply asking someone to
> help do it. Or, at least, say opinion about this feature.

Did you take a look at VirtFS ?

-- Pasi

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