Xen and supported guests

Simon Gao gao at schrodinger.com
Mon Oct 29 16:45:32 CDT 2007

McDougall, Marshall (FSH) wrote:
> A while back we took delivery of several Dell 2950 servers to update
> our hardware environment which supports our Ingres, Sybase and DB2
> systems(old 2550 and 2650).  Ingres 2.6 and DB2 were running on RHEL
> 2.1, Sybase was running on RHEL3.  We were hoping to be able to
> maintain the same levels software, but the new hardware is not
> supported by RHEL2.1.  This is where the fun starts.  I built up
> several RHEL4 servers and installed the Database systems on them and
> gave them to the DBA's to test.  They promptly came back and said that
> they were up to 7 times slower than the previous hardware platforms,
> with the exception of DB2.  I ran some OS benchmarks and they came
> back up to 7 times faster than the previous hardware.  We worked on
> various tweaks and tunes to the OS and DBMS to no avail.
> At that point we started to engage the vendors/support orgs for the
> various products.  Sybase could do nothing to improve performance on
> the RHEL4 server, so we tried RHEL5(or advanced platform or whatever
> they are calling it this week). The performance was just as dismal. 
> We ended up going back to RHEL3U9 to get the Sybase environment to an
> acceptable performance level.
> Ingres is another story.  First they said try Ingres 2006.  It worked,
> but it has significant implications to our OpenRoad development
> environment, and as such is not really an option.  I went the same
> route as before with the various flavours of RHEL and it made no
> difference.  Finally, I built a RHEL5 server, installed VMWare Server,
> and created a RHEL2.1 guest on that.  We now have performance where we
> want it.  The downside is that on my server with 8GB of ram I can only
> use 3.6GB for the VM.
> My options as I see them now are; Install VMWare ESX and see if that
> buys me anything, or spend the time and effort to see if Xen will be
> of benefit.  The problem with the latter is that according to the doc
> RHEL 2.1 is not a supported OS on RH5. 
> So, after all this,  the gist of my post is; Has anybody successfully
> sparked up a RHEL 2.1 guest, using more than 4 GB of RAM, on a RH5
> virtual platform, or, has anyone installed Ingres 2.6 on a Linux 2.6
> kernel and made it perform at an expected level?  Thanks for reading
> this far.
You can try install RHEL 2.1 as HVM guest which does require CPU has
hardware support built-in for XEN or other hypervisor. Installing RHEL
2.1 is similar to installing RH7.3, Windows XP. RH5 should be able to
handle it.


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