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[Xen-users] Increasing network performance on Windows DomUs

To: Xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Xen-users] Increasing network performance on Windows DomUs
From: Adam Wead <awead@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 14:08:35 -0400
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Hi all,

I'm preparing to deploy some Windows servers under Xen on Red Hat 5 and would like to maximize network performance. I've been looking over some previous posts and it looks like the present situation is this, and please do correct me if I'm wrong:

- Windows guests get slower network performance than their Dom0's because of the fully-virtualized hardware (HVM) - Assigning the Dom0 and DomU its own processor core can improve this slightly - It's possible to use Windows paravirtual (PV) drivers from XenExpress or other commercial products, but they will only work with commercial versions of Xen and not open-source ones such as Red Hat's version

If the last point is true, what options are there? If I have a Dom0 machine with lots of NICs, can I assign one of the NICs to my DomU and bypass the whole HVM, network bridge, etc? At this point, I'm only interested in getting one of the windows guests with optimal network speed. For now, I can deal with less-than-optical network performance on my other windows guests, but it would be nice to know all the options.

Here are some details about my environment:

Dom0 = IBM 3550, Dual-core 3.0 Ghz Xeon
DomU = 2 paravirtual linux guests. 1 fully-virtual Windows 2008 Server

Right now, an iperf test to a server on the same subnet yields 850 Mb/ s from either Dom0 or one of the linux DomUs, but only about 30 Mb/s from the Windows DomU.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated, and I'm happy to share the results.



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