Posted on | January 8, 2008 | 5 Comments
I’m working on a pretty comprehensive book aimed at helping web hosting providers adopt Xen for some of their offerings. Xen ‘out of the box’ is a really nice platform designed to make as many people happy as possible. Web hosts have special needs that require special planning, a guide to planning and implementing Xen for IAAS providers would be entirely useful.
I’m planning on releasing the work under the GFDL (GNU Free Documentation License) so collaborators are more than welcome. Contact me if your interested in participating.
Things to cover would be (but not limited to)
- Physical layer and topology (switches, routers, etc)
- Types of storage (quirks and benefits of each)
- Selecting hardware for Xen nodes
- Building from source vs relying on the OS packages
- More in depth explanation of network options (bridging, routing, failover, shaping, throttling, etc)
- Accounting system design (Bandwidth, CPU usage, etc)
- Overview of many available tools (libvirt, enomalism, xen-tools and dozens more)
- Logistical issues (distributed locking, migration, etc)
- Administrative pitfalls
… likely, a lot more. It really is a book when you consider the topics like network storage. Almost an entire chapter would be devoted to explaining the differences between using iscsi on dom-0 to feed guests block devices from network storage, or just using initiators in the guests. AoE, lvm/clvm, gfs and ocfs2 have their own quirks when it comes to Xen as well. Extra quirks come due to the fact that hosts can’t hope to predict their I/O, so it should be interesting to cover.
You’re probably saying “Why not just make a wiki?”. I thought about it, I have no interest in dealing with editorial wars. I’m pretty sold on doing this in asciidoc format and using Mercurial to manage revisions. Once the text is done, its easily converted to wiki markup.
Again, this is not a ‘regular’ book on Xen, its quite specific to deploying Xen as an IAAS provider. Should be fun