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Is it realistic to move vm images between two XenServers (about 1GB each) on a regular basis over a WAN?

The idea would be to have a fail-over, but the image (well anything important about it, anyway) doesn't change that often, but will XenServer work given the low bandwidth? Has anyone tried?

(Note: I'm not talking about XenMotion where the VM would move without going down).

Edit: In response to the question of how low, around the bandwidth of a T1.

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you're talking about shutting down the VM and copying the filestore? I don't know how you could live-copy images over without something like xenmotion/livemotion/etc. otherwise. If someone does know how to live-copy VM system states I'd love links to information. –  Bart Silverstrim Aug 21 '09 at 14:49

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Idea 1: Inside the VM sync to another VM

This sort of scenario might bode better as a master->slave configuration. You can configure the master with an LVM filesystem, take snapshots, and replicate them to the guest VM. The configuration would be entirely agnostic of the fact the systems were under Xen.

Idea 2:

Rsync the Xen images from the dom0. See here for more details and directions.

backups are boring, but we all know how important they are. backups can also be quite powerful when working with xen virtualization, since xen allows for convenient back-up and restore of entire systems.

i've recently been working on a flexible, general-purpose script enabling incremental backups of complete xen guests, optimized for secure, distributed environments; xenBackup. if you're working with xen, you might find it useful.

the xenBackup script leverages open-source components like ssh, rsync, and rdiff-backup to create a simple, efficient and functional solution.

all code and configurations have been tested on debian etch but should be useful for other *nix flavors with subtle modifications. if you're unfamiliar with xen, you might consider starting with an earlier how-to on setting up xen on your debian etch box

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I probably don't have to say this, but for someone who might read this who hadn't thought of it, you certainly want to compress the image files before moving them. I have moved many VM images over the network as tar, bzip2 files

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Yeah, sure, just like any other 1GB file really, we do it all the time with VMotion on VMWare. That said you haven't stated your (low) bandwidth rate.

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