Posts Tagged ‘Virtualization’

Attach USB disks to XenServer VM Guest

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

There is a very nice script for Windows dealing with attaching XenServer USB disk to a guest. It can be found here.

This script has several problems, as I see it. The first – this is a Windows batch script, which is a very limited language, and it can handle only a single VDI disk in the SR group called “Removable Storage”.

As I am a *nix guy, and can hardly handle Windows batch scripts, I have rewritten this script to run from Linux CLI (focused on running from the XenServer Domain0), and allowed it to handle multiple USB disks. My assumption is that running this script will map/unmap *all* local USB disks to the VM.

Following downloading this script, you should make sure it is executable, and run it with the arguments “attach” or “detach”, per your needs.

And here it is:

#!/bin/bash
# This script will map USB devices to a specific VM
# Written by Ez-Aton, http://run.tournament.org.il , with the concepts
# taken from http://jamesscanlonitkb.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/xenserver-mount-usb-from-host/
# and http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX118198

# Variables
# Need to change them to match your own!
REMOVABLE_SR_UUID=d03f247d-6fc6-a396-e62b-a4e702aabcf0
VM_UUID=b69e9788-8cd2-0074-5bc1-63cf7870fa0d
DEVICE_NAMES="hdc hde" # Local disk mapping for the VM
XE=/opt/xensource/bin/xe

function attach() {
        # Here we attach the disks
        # Check if storage is attached to VBD
        VBDS=`$XE vdi-list sr-uuid=${REMOVABLE_SR_UUID} params=vbd-uuids --minimal | tr , ' '`
        if [ `echo $VBDS | wc -w` -ne 0 ]
        then
                echo "Disks are allready attached. Check VBD $VBDS for details"
                exit 1
        fi
        # Get devices!
        VDIS=`$XE vdi-list sr-uuid=${REMOVABLE_SR_UUID} --minimal | tr , ' '`
        INDEX=0
        DEVICE_NAMES=( $DEVICE_NAMES )
        for i in $VDIS
        do
                VBD=`$XE vbd-create vm-uuid=${VM_UUID} device=${DEVICE_NAMES[$INDEX]} vdi-uuid=${i}`
                if [ $? -ne 0 ]
                then
                        echo "Failed to connect $i to ${DEVICE_NAMES[$INDEX]}"
                        exit 2
                fi
                $XE vbd-plug uuid=$VBD
                if [ $? -ne 0 ]
                then
                        echo "Failed to plug $VBD"
                        exit 3
                fi
                let INDEX++
        done
}

function detach() {
        # Here we detach the disks
        VBDS=`$XE vdi-list sr-uuid=${REMOVABLE_SR_UUID} params=vbd-uuids --minimal | tr , ' '`
        for i in $VBDS
        do
                $XE vbd-unplug uuid=${i}
                $XE vbd-destroy uuid=${i}
        done
        echo "Storage Detached from VM"
}
case "$1" in
        attach) attach
                ;;
        detach) detach
                ;;
        *)      echo "Usage: $0 [attach|detach]"
                exit 1
esac

 

Cheers!

Bonding + VLAN tagging + Bridge – updated

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

In the past I hacked around a problem with the order of starting (and with several bugs) a network stack combined of network bonding (teaming) + VLAN tagging, and then with network bridging (aka – Xen bridges). This kind of setup is very useful for introducing VLAN networks to guest VMs. This works well on Xen (community, Server), however, on RHEL/Centos 5 versions, the startup scripts (ifup and ifup-eth) are buggy, and do not handle this operation correctly. It means that, depending on the update release you use, results might vary from “everything works” to “I get bridges without VLANs” to “I get VLANs without bridges”.

I have hacked a solution in the past, modifying /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifup-eth and fixing some bugs in it, however, both maintaining the fix on every release of ‘initscripts’ package has proven, well, not to happen…

So, instead, I present you with a smarter solution, better adept to updates supplied from time to time by RedHat or Centos, using predefined ‘hooks’ in the ifup scripts.

Create the file /sbin/ifup-pre-local with the following contents:

 

#!/bin/bash
# $1 is the config file
# $2 is not interesting
# We will start the vlan bonding before any bridge

DIR=/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts

[ -z "$1" ] && exit 0
. $1

if [ "${DEVICE%%[0-9]*}" == "xenbr" ]
then
    for device in $(LANG=C egrep -l "^[[:space:]]*BRIDGE="?${DEVICE}"?" /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-*) ; do
        /sbin/ifup $device
    done
fi

You can download this scrpit. Don’t forget to change it to be executable. It will call ifup for any parent device of xenbr* device called at. If the parent device is already up, no harm is done. If the parent device is not up, it will be brought up, and then the xenbr device can start normally.

Citrix XenServer 6.0 enable VM autostart

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Unlike previous versions, VMs do not have a visible property in the GUI allowing autostart. This has been claimed to collide with the HA function of the licensed version. While I believe there is a more elegant way of doing that (like – ignoring this property if HA is enabled), the following method can allow your free XenServer allow autostart of VMs:
xe pool-param-set uuid=UUID other-config:auto_poweron=true

xe vm-param-set uuid=UUID other-config:auto_poweron=true

Replace the relevant UUID values with the true required value. A small one-liner script to handle the 2nd part (enabling it for the VMs), which would enable autostart for ALL vms:

for i in `xe vm-list is-control-domain=false –minimal | tr , ‘  ‘`; do xe vm-param-set uuid=$i other-config:auto_poweron=true; done

Cheers

XenServer 6.0 with DRBD

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

DRBD is a low-cost shared-SAN-like solution, which has several great benefits, among which are no single point of failure, and very low cost (local storage and network cable). Its main disadvantages are in the need to constantly monitor it, and make sure it does what’s expected. Also – in some cases – performance might be affected greatly.

If you need XenServer pool with VMs XenMotion (used to call it LiveMigration. I liked it better then…), but you cannot afford or do not want classic shared storage acting a single point of failure, DRBD could be for you. You have to understand the limitations, however.

The most important limitation is with data consistency. If you aim at using it as Active/Active, as I have, you need to make sure that under any circumstance you will not have split brain, as it will mean losing data (you will recover to an older point in time). If you aim at Active/Passive, or all your VMs will run on a single host, then the danger is lower, however – for A/A, and VMs spread across both hosts – the danger is imminent, and you should be aware of it.

This does not mean that you will have to run crying in case of split brain. It means you might be required to export/import VMs to maintain consistent data, and that you will have a very long downtime. Kinda defies the purpose of XenMotion and all…

Using the DRBD guid here, you will find an excellent solution, but not a complete one. I will describe my additions to this document.

So, first, you need to download the DRBD packages. I have re-packaged them, as they did not match XenServer with XS60E003 update. You can grub this particular tar.gz here: drbd-8.3.12-xenserver6.0-xs003.tar.gz . I did not use DRBD 8.4.1, as it has shown great instability and liked getting split-brained all the time. Don’t want it with our system, do we?

Make sure you have defined the private link between your hosts, both as a network interface, as described, and in both servers’ /etc/hosts file. It will be easier later. Verify that the host hostname matches the configuration file, else DRBD will not start.

Next, follow the mentioned guide.

Unlike this guide, I did not define DRBD to be Active/Active in the configuration file. I have noticed that upon reboot of the pool master (and always it), probably due to timing issues, as the XE Toolstack did not release the DRBD device, it would have started in split-brain mode, and I was incapable of handling it correctly. No matter when I have tried to set the service to start, as early as possible, it would have always start in split-brain mode.

The workaround was to let it start in passive mode, and while being read-only device, XE Toolstack cannot use it. Then I wait (in /etc/rc.local) for it to complete sync, and connect the PBD.

You will need each host PBD for this specific SR.

You can do it by running:

for i in `xe host-list --minimal` ; do 
echo -n "host `xe host-param-get param-name=hostname uuid=$i`  "
echo "PBD `xe pbd-list sr-uuid=$(xe  sr-list name-label=drbd-sr1 --minimal) --minimal`"
done

This will result in a line per host with the DRBD PBD uuid. Replace drbd-sr1 with your actual DRBD SR name.

You will require this info later.

My drbd.conf file looks like this:

# You can find an example in  /usr/share/doc/drbd.../drbd.conf.example

#include "drbd.d/global_common.conf";
#include "drbd.d/*.res";

resource drbd-sr1 {
protocol C;
startup {
degr-wfc-timeout 120; # 2 minutes.
outdated-wfc-timeout 2; # 2 seconds.
#become-primary-on both;
}

handlers {
    split-brain "/usr/lib/drbd/notify.sh root";
}

disk {
max-bio-bvecs 1;
no-md-flushes;
no-disk-flushes;
no-disk-barrier;
}

net {
allow-two-primaries;
cram-hmac-alg "sha1";
shared-secret "Secr3T";
after-sb-0pri discard-zero-changes;
after-sb-1pri discard-secondary;
after-sb-1pri consensus;
after-sb-2pri disconnect;
#after-sb-2pri call-pri-lost-after-sb;
max-buffers 8192;
max-epoch-size 8192;
sndbuf-size 1024k;
}

syncer {
rate 1G;
al-extents 2099;
}

on xenserver1 {
device /dev/drbd1;
disk /dev/sda3;
address 10.1.1.1:7789;
meta-disk internal;
}
on xenserver2 {
device /dev/drbd1;
disk /dev/sda3;
address 10.1.1.2:7789;
meta-disk internal;
}
}

I did not force them both to become primary, as split-brain handling in A/A mode is very complex. I have forced them to start as secondary.
Then, in /etc/rc.local, I have added the following lines:

echo 1 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/online
while grep sync /proc/drbd > /dev/null 2>&1
do
        sleep 5
done
/sbin/drbdadm primary all
/opt/xensource/bin/xe pbd-plug uuid=dfb02709-2483-a11a-cb0e-eac0fb05d8e2

This performs the following:

  • Add an additional core to Domain 0, to reduce chances of CPU overload with DRBD
  • Waits for any sync to complete (if DRBD failed, it will continue, but you will have a split brain, or no DRBD at all)
  • Brings the DRBD device to primary mode. I have had only one DRBD device, but this can be performed selectively for each device
  • Reconnects the PBD which, till this point in the boot sequence, was disconnected. An important note – replace the uuid with the one discovered above for each host – each host should unplug its own PBD.

To sum it up – until sync has been completed, the PBD will not be plugged, and until then, no VMs can run on this SR. Split brain handling for A/P configuration is so much easier.

Some additional notes:

  • I have failed horribly when the interconnect cable was down. I did not implement hardware fencing mechanisms, but it would probably be a very good practice for production systems. Disconnecting the cross cable will result in a split brain.
  • For this system to be worthy, it has to have external monitoring. DRBD must be monitored at all times.
  • Practice and document cases of single node failure, both nodes failure, host master failure, etc. Make sure you know how to react before it happens in real-life.
  • Performance was measured on a Linux RHEL6 VM to be about 82MB/s. The hardware it was tested on was Dell PE R610 with a very nice RAID5 array, etc. When the 2nd host was down, performance resulted in abour 450MB/s, so the bandwidth, in this particular case, matters.
  • Performance test was done using the command:
    dd if=/dev/zero bs=1M of=/tmp/test_file.dd oflag=direct
    Without the oflag=direct, the system will overload the disk write cache of the OS, and not the disk itself (at least – not immediately).
  • I did not test random-access performance.
Hope it helps

Oracle VM post-install check list

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Following my experience with OracleVM, I am adding my post-install steps for your pleasure. These steps are not mandatory, by design, but will help you get up and running faster and easier. These steps are relevant to Oracle VM 2.2, but might work for older (and newer) versions as well.

Define bonding

You should read more about it in my past post.

Define storage multipathing

You can read about it here.

Define NTP

Define NTP servers for your Oracle VM host. Make sure the daemon ‘ntpd’ is running, and following an initial time update, via

ntpdate -u <server>

to set the clock right initially, perform a sync to the hardware clock, for good measures

hwclock –systohc

Make sure NTPD starts on boot:

chkconfig ntpd on

Install Linux VM

If the system is going to be stand-alone, you might like to run your VM Manager on it (we will deal with issues of it later). To do so, you will need to install your own Linux machine, since Oracle supplied image fails (or at least – failed for me!) for no apparent reason (kernel panic, to be exact, on a fully MD5 checked image). You could perform this action from the command line by running the command

virt-install -n linux_machine -r 1024 -p –nographics -l nfs://iso_server:/mount

This directive installs a VM called “linux_machine” from nfs iso_server:/mount, with 1GB RAM. You will be asked about where to place the VM disk, and you should place it in /OVS/running_pool/linux_machine , accordingly.

It assumes you have DHCP available for the install procedure, etc.

Install Oracle VM Manager on the virtual Linux machine

This should be performed if you select to manage your VMs from a VM. This is a bit tricky, as you are recommended not to do so if you designing HA-enabled server pool.

Define autostart to all your VMs

Or, at least, those you want to auto start. Create a link from /OVS/running_pool/<VM_NAME>/vm.cfg to /etc/xen/auto/

The order in which ‘ls’ command will see them in /etc/xen/auto/ is the order in which they will be called.

Disable or relocate auto-suspending

Auto-suspend is cool, but your default Oracle VM installation has shortage of space under /var/lib/xen/save/ directory, where persistent memory dumps are kept.  On a 16GB RAM system, this can get pretty high, which is far more than your space can contain.

Either increase the size (mount something else there, I assume), or edit /etc/sysconfig/xendomains and comment the line  with the directive XENDOMAINS_SAVE= . You could also change the desired path to somewhere you have enough space on.

Hashing this directive will force regular shutdown to your VMs following a power off/reboot command to the Oracle VM.

Make sure auto-start VMs actually start

This is an annoying bug. For auto-start of VMs, you need /OVS up and available. Since it’s OCFS2 file system, it takes a short while (being performed by ovs-agent).

Since ovs-agent takes a while, we need to implement a startup script after it and before xendomains. Since both are markes “S99” (check /etc/rc3.d/ for details), we would add a script called “sleep”.

The script should be placed in /etc/init.d/

#!/bin/bash
#
# sleep     Workaround Oracle VM delay issues
#
# chkconfig: 2345 99 99
# description: Adds a predefined delay to the initialization process
#

DELAY=60

case "$1" in
start) sleep $DELAY
;;
esac
exit 0

Place the script as a file called “sleep” (omit the suffix I added in this post), set it to be executable, and then run

chkconfig –add sleep

This will solve VM startup problems.

Fix /etc/hosts file

If you are into multi-server pool, you will need that the host name would not be defined to 127.0.0.1 address. By default, Oracle VM defines it to match 127.0.0.1, which will result in a poor attempt to create multi-server pool.

This is all I have had in mind for now. It should solve most new-comer issues with Oracle VM, and allow you to make good use of it. It’s a nice system, albeit it’s ugly management.

Update the OracleVM

You could use Oracle’s unbreakable network, if you are a paying customer, or you could use the Public Yum Server for your system.

Updates to Oracle VM Manager

If you won’t use Oracle Grid Control (Enterprise Manager) to manage the pool, you will probably use Oracle VM Manager. You would need to update the ovs-console package, and you will probably want to add tightvnc-java package, so that IE users will be able to use the web-based VNC services. You would better grub these packages from here.