A Hands-on Guide to the Art of Virtualization


The book is targeted at individuals and organizations that are deploying Xen systems. It walks the reader through the basics, from installing Xen to using prebuilt guest images. It even tells readers how to experiment with Xen using only a Xen LiveCD. It covers the basics of virtualizations and important elements of all Xen systems like the hypervisor and Domain0. It explains the details of the xm commands for managing guest domains. It helps users deploy custom guest images based on operating systems from Linux to Windows. It covers more advanced topics like device virtualization, network configuration, security and live migration. We hope you will find it a good mix of introductory and advanced topics that will prove useful from your first Xen deployment experiment to running production Xen systems.

Chapter Descriptions

Chapter 1, “Xen-Background and Virtualization Basics” is a quick introduction to virtualization in general and to Xen in particular. Chapter 2, “A Quick Tour with the Xen LiveCD”, provides an overview of Xen’s functionalities by exploring the Xen LiveCD.

Chapter 3, “The Xen Hypervisor” focuses on the hypervisor that is the core of any Xen system and some other trusted components such as Domain0 and xend. We build on that common understanding of the Xen hypervisor by concretely showing you how to install and configure your own hard-disk-based Xen installation in Chapter 4, “Hardware Requirements and Installation of Xen Domain0″. After you have your own hypervisor installation up and running, this book eases you into using guest images by first showing you how download and use images available from the Internet in Chapter 5, “Using Prebuilt Guest Images”.

Chapter 6, “Managing Unprivileged Domains”, covers the basics of administering the running DomUs or unprivileged guest domains. You are then guided through the various methods of creating your own custom guest images, in Chapter 7 ” Populating Guest Images”. Now that you have all these guests, Chapter 8, ” Storing Guest Images”, covers a variety of choices for storing guest images for online use as well as backup and sharing.

The second half of this book delves into more advanced system management topics including device management (Chapter 9, “Device Virtualization and Management”), networking (Chapter 10, “Network Configuration”), security ( Chapter 11, “Securing a Xen System”), resource distribution (Chapter 12, “Managing Guest Resources”) and migration (Chapter 13, “Guest Save, Restore and Live Migration”). We conclude with a survey of some of the popular administrative tools available for your Xen systems in Chapter 14, “An Overview of Xen Enterprise Management Tools”.