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In VMware ESXi, we can easily present a raw SATA hard drive to a virtual machine through Raw device mapping. Is it possible in the free edition of XenServer 5.6?

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Back in Xen 3.1 I was doing this. I created a VM that used a partition as its raw device. I'm doing it right now with SLES 10 and a pair of NetWare servers. The partition method is the only way to get a disk to mount to more than one Xen VM (at least at this Xen version, this is likely fixed in newer ones), which is how I got a 2 node cluster-in-a-box out of this(*). The same semantics should work just fine for an actual disk, should you chose to.

(*) That looks awfully like a single point of failure, eh? Yes, well. The problem I was working around was unstable, barely maintained software (NetWare, remember?), so having a cluster-in-a-box worked to get around it.

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Haven't used XenServer so I don't know how different from Xen it is, but under Xen you can do an "xm block attach" command to add a block device to a running domU.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

After more than one year, finally I found a solution

http://techblog.conglomer.net/sata-direct-local-disk-access-on-xenserver/

Or search xensource local-device-change on Google.

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