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Im currently building a machine that will run Citrix XenServer and host several VM's. The discussion on the comparison to ESXi has been fascinating.

Im wondering - how does XenServer actually store the VM's? Can I move them around to external drives / duplicate them easily?

Also, can existing VM's from lets say Parallels be imported into the hypervisor?


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It'll use either LVM or files-as-block-devices. Either are trivial to copy, whether or not you can move it to an external drive depends on what hardware you've got, and what you want to achieve.

Existing fully-virtualised VMs from other systems can be "imported", in the sense that what was previously running on another system can be made to run in Xen. It may require significant jiggling to make that work, though, depending on what you're moving from.

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Can xen block images be mounted with as loop devices (like iso's)? – SirStan Aug 20 '09 at 2:24
Yes, although if you're running HVM it can be exciting to deal with the partition table. – womble Aug 20 '09 at 5:43

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