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Re: [Xen-devel] Re: [libvirt] [RFC] libxenlight driver

To: Gianni Tedesco <gianni.tedesco@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-devel] Re: [libvirt] [RFC] libxenlight driver
From: "Daniel P. Berrange" <berrange@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 16:44:43 +0000
Cc: LibVir <libvir-list@xxxxxxxxxx>, Jim Fehlig <jfehlig@xxxxxxxxxx>, xen-devel <xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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Reply-to: "Daniel P. Berrange" <berrange@xxxxxxxxxx>
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On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 04:33:55PM +0000, Gianni Tedesco wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-01-21 at 15:48 +0000, Jim Fehlig wrote:
> > Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> > > On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 04:49:25PM -0700, Jim Fehlig wrote:
> > >   
> > >> I'm looking into creating a driver for the new Xen xl/libxl toolstack
> > >> (aka libxenlight [1]), set to become the default in upcoming Xen 4.1.0
> > >> release.
> > >>
> > >> My first hurdle is deciding whether this should be a new driver or
> > >> integrated with existing xen-unified driver.  Initially I thought a new
> > >> driver would be a better approach - a clean break from the old code,
> > >> similar to the xenapi driver.  libxenlight is also stateless (no managed
> > >> domains), which seems like another good argument for a new driver.  But
> > >> libxenlight is really just another interface into the same hypervisor,
> > >> so in that regard it should be a xen-unified subdriver.
> > >>     
> > >
> > > Something on the system must be stateful, continually monitoring
> > > guests & taking neccessary actions ? eg If XenD isn't used, then
> > > what is responsible for restarting guests which crash, or performing
> > > core dumps on crashed guests, etc, etc ?
> > >   
> > 
> > Good questions.  I have just started looking at the new toolstack, and
> > frankly don't yet know how this is handled.  Adding xen-devel for
> > comment ...
> Yes and no, in xen, the hypervisor internal data structures combined
> with xenstore is the state (pretty much anyway). The purpose of
> libxenlight is to abstract away these details.
> However, when a domain is created with libxenlight one must wait for a
> few events to ensure the proper clean-up of the domain. The events are
> basically 'domain death' or 'device ejected'. These exist so the
> toolstack can handle rebooting, core dumping the domain, inserting the
> next CD image, or whatever. I am not sure how libvirt handles such
> events normally but you may either integrate with a poll/select based
> mainloop or have threads or processes with self-pipes handling these.
> So in summary, state is maintained by the xen system outside of any
> libvirt driver, but handling the kind of events you mention will require
> some special work to be done for domains created by libvirt.

Ok, so basically the mgmt app that is using the libxenlight API
is taking the place of XenD. Thus in the new scheme libvirtd
would have to handle those kind of events. This is fine because
we already do that kind of thing with our other HV drivers for
QEMU/KVM, UserModeLinux and LXC.

> > > This would have a bearing on how best to design a libvirt driver
> > >
> > >   
> > >> There are certainly benefits to the xen-unified subdriver approach, e.g.
> > >> the existing hypervisor and xenstore subdrivers can be leveraged, the
> > >> former providing all the capabilities code.  But AFAIK, libxenlight and
> > >> xend should not be used together, so I don't think we would want the
> > >> xend subdriver activated if libxenlight is detected.  Supposedly xl can
> > >> be used as a direct replacement for xm, allowing unconditional use of
> > >> that subdriver.
> > >>
> > >> BTW, Ian Jackson responded [2] to some of my questions regarding
> > >> compatibility between old and new toolstack if you are interested.
> > >>
> > >> I'd like to hear other's opinions on a new driver vs. a xen-unified
> > >> subdriver.
> > >>     
> > >
> > > Due to the number of revisions of Xen userspace stack, and the
> > > need to talk to so many pieces to get an efficient driver, the
> > > current Xen unified driver is rather hairy. Particularly if
> > > XenD itself is deprecated as a control mechanism, then I'd
> > > go for a new standalone driver, that runs from libvirtd context
> > > and leverages the standard libvirt storage/network/inteface
> > > drivers for non-HV stuff (which I assume libxenlight doesn't
> > > cover).
> > >   
> > 
> > Correct.  AFAICT, libxenlight does not cover any host storage or network
> > management.  A libxenlight driver will be a hypervsisor driver only.
> Yes definitely. We handle attaching and detaching NIC's and block
> devices. Any other management is orthogonal to libxenlight (as it is for
> xend).
> BTW. I would also add my vote for a separate code-base for
> xend/traditional vs. libxenlight drivers as there is no similarity of
> interface. The xend HTTP RPC calls are unrelated to the libxl API.

Agreed, now you clarified my question(s) above, I think a dedicated
libxenlight driver in libvirtd is the only sensible option.

On a related note, where does  XenAPI fit into this picture ?
Previously XenD would provide (at least some of) the XenAPI
functionality in the open source stack, while I understand
that the XenEnterprise had a separate impl of XenAPI. It
sounds like XenAPI is likely only relevant for XenEnterprise
connectivity in the future.


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