This is an archived copy of the Xen.org mailing list, which we have preserved to ensure that existing links to archives are not broken. The live archive, which contains the latest emails, can be found at http://lists.xen.org/
Home Products Support Community News


Re: [Xen-users] Problems w/ 3Ware 9650 and 64-bit Xen

To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Problems w/ 3Ware 9650 and 64-bit Xen
From: Freddie Cash <fjwcash@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 10:41:30 -0700
Delivery-date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 10:42:28 -0700
Envelope-to: www-data@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
In-reply-to: <480DA68E.3070908@xxxxxxxx>
List-help: <mailto:xen-users-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=help>
List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>
List-post: <mailto:xen-users@lists.xensource.com>
List-subscribe: <http://lists.xensource.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/xen-users>, <mailto:xen-users-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=subscribe>
List-unsubscribe: <http://lists.xensource.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/xen-users>, <mailto:xen-users-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=unsubscribe>
References: <48047651.1030805@xxxxxxxx> <480DA68E.3070908@xxxxxxxx>
Sender: xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
User-agent: KMail/1.9.9
On April 22, 2008 01:49 am Martin Adolfsson wrote:
> I am having trouble getting a RAID card (more specifically the 3Ware
> 9650SE-4LPML) working on Xen (64-bit).

I fought with this setup for over three weeks before giving up on Xen (at 
least on Debian/Ubuntu) on newer hardware.

The driver for this card was added to the mainline kernel in 2.6.20, hence 
the standard Xen kernel 2.6.18 won't work.

I tried running Debian Lenny (with the 2.6.22-xen kernel from Ubuntu), 
Debian Sid, Ubuntu Hardy, and a bunch of different variations on the 

The only semi-stable configuration I achieved was Ubuntu Hardy with the 
2.6.24 dom0 kernel, and a forced install of the Gutsy 2.6.22-xen kernel 
for the domU.  But that was only semi-stable.  Running lots of HVMs and 
PVs at the same time could lock the server.

And depending on which version of the libc6 package was installed, you 
could get lots of "bus error" messages and truncated libraries.  Plus, 
getting networking to work on eth3-eth6 (and not on eth0-eth2) in Xen was 
a nightmare, and made even worse if you tried to create a bond0 interface 
of eth3-eth6 and use that for the Xen bridge (never managed to get that 
to work with Xen 3.2).

After three weeks, I gave up and installed Debian Lenny, upgraded to the 
2.6.24 kernel, install KVM, and haven't looked at Xen since.  Had a 
working VM setup in less than a day, with a 4-port bond0 as the physical 
device for the bridge.

My experience has shown (at least for Debian hosts):
 - if your hardware is supported by 2.6.18, then you can run Xen 3.0 
nicely, 3.1 nicely, and 3.2 nicely (once you get around that stupid 
XenStore crap)
 - if your hardware requires a newer kernel, and supports hardware 
virtualisation, you're better off with KVM.  It's a lot simpler to manage 
(a couple of shell scripts and the standard Linux admin tools), you can 
use the standard Debian tools to set up your bonded interfaces and 
bridges, and you always have a VNC terminal to access to the console of 
the VMs.  With the development of paravirtual drivers for net/block I/O, 
it'll really give Xen a run.

Our hardware:
  Tyan h2000M motherboard
  2x AMD Opteron 2200-series CPUs (dual-core, 2 GHz)
  8 GB DDR2-800 SDRAM
  3Ware 9650SE-12ML PCIe RAID controllers
  12x 500 GB SATA-II HDs in an 11-disk RAID6 w/Hot Spare
  Intel Pro/1000 quad-port PCIe NIC
  Chenbro 5U rackmount case
  1350 watt PSU with 4-redundant connectors/power modules

Freddie Cash

Xen-users mailing list