Xen and Virtualized NetWare: Caveats

  • 7008781
  • 10-Jun-2011
  • 27-Apr-2012

Environment

NetWare 6.5 Support Pack 8 running as a DomU

The Dom0 host is typically either SLES 10 or SLES 11.

Situation

NetWare is able to run in a virtualized environment provided by the Xen hypervisor.

The recommended NetWare version to use is the latest available (NetWare 6.5 Support Pack 8).

Because Xen ships with either SLES 10 or SLES 11, customers have a choice of platforms for where to run their virtual servers.  The suggestion for the patform is typically to use the latest version and revision (SLES 11 SP1, for example).  Using this will eliminate old bugs and make the product more stable.  However, with NetWare, there is a tradeoff if there are server problems requiring a coredump.

If NetWare is run as a DomU in SLES 11 SP1, it cannot coredump.  The server can still abend, but a coredump of that problem cannot be collected. If there are issues that require the collection of a coredump (server abends, high utilization, etc.), SLES 11 SP1 as a host platform running Xen, does not have the correct tools to allow this to happen.  This is not a NetWare issue, or a SLES issue, this is an issue with tools needed by both to allow the coredump to be written.  

There is currently an open issue on this problem for engineering to resolve and allow SLES 11 SP1 (and future SLE releases) to be able to host a NetWare server and allow coredumps.

As most customers that use NetWare focus on VMWare for their host environment, this is also an alternative to consider.

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