Running Xen: A Hands-on Guide to the Art of Virtualization Paperback – 6 Apr 2008
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From the Back Cover
“This accessible and immediately useful book expertly provides the Xen community with everything it needs to know to download, build, deploy and manage Xen implementations.”
―Ian Pratt, Xen Project Leader VP Advanced Technology, Citrix Systems
The Real–World, 100% Practical Guide to Xen Virtualization in Production Environments
Using free, open source Xen virtualization software, you can save money, gain new flexibility, improve utilization, and simplify everything from disaster recovery to software testing. Running Xen brings together all the knowledge you need to create and manage high–performance Xen virtual machines in any environment. Drawing on the unparalleled experience of a world–class Xen team, it covers everything from installation to administration―sharing field-tested insights, best practices, and case studies you can find nowhere else.
The authors begin with a primer on virtualization: its concepts, uses, and advantages. Next, they tour Xen’s capabilities, explore the Xen LiveCD, introduce the Xen hypervisor, and walk you through configuring your own hard–disk–based Xen installation. After you’re running, they guide you through each leading method for creating “guests” and migrating existing systems to run as Xen guests. Then they offer comprehensive coverage of managing and securing Xen guests, devices, networks, and distributed resources. Whether you’re an administrator, data center manager, developer, system integrator, or ISP, Running Xen will help you achieve your goals with Xen–reliably, efficiently, with outstanding performance, and at a surprisingly low cost.
•Understanding the Xen hypervisor: what it does, and how it works
•Using pre-built system images, including compressed file systems
•Managing domains with the xm console
•Populating and storing guest images
•Planning, designing, and configuring networks in Xen
•Utilizing Xen security: special purpose VMs, virtual network segments, remote access, firewalls, network monitors, sHype access control, Xen Security Modules (XSM), and more
•Managing guest resources: memory, CPU, and I/O
•Employing Xen in the enterprise: tools, products, and techniques
About the Author
Jeanna Matthews is an associate professor of Computer Science at Clarkson University (Potsdam, New York) where she leads several hands-on computing laboratories including the Clarkson Open Source Institute and Clarkson Internet Teaching Laboratory. Students in these labs and in her classes have been winners in a number of prestigious computing contests including the 2001, 2002, and 2004 IBM Linux Challenge, the 2005 IBM North American Grid Scholar’s Challenge, the 2005 Unisys Tuxmaster competition, and the 2006 VMware Ultimate Virtual Appliance Challenge. Her research interests include virtualization, operating systems, computer networks, and computer security. She is actively involved in the Association for Computing Machinery as treasurer of the Special Interest Group on Operating Systems, editor of Operating Systems Review, and is a member of the Executive Committee ACM’s U.S. Public Policy Committee, US-ACM. She is also the author of a computer networking textbook, Computer Networking: Internet Protocols in Action, that has been translated into several languages. Jeanna received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999.
Eli M. Dow is a software engineer in IBM’s Test and Integration Center for Linux in Poughkeepsie, NY. He holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Psychology as well as an M.S. in Computer Science from Clarkson University. He is passionate about open source software and is an alumnus and founding member of the Clarkson Open Source Institute. His interests include virtualization, Linux systems programming, the GNOME desktop, and human-computer interaction. He is the author of numerous IBM developerWorks articles focused on Linux and open source software. Additionally, he has coauthored two books on the mainframe hypervisor z/VM, entitled Introduction to the New Mainframe: z/VM Basics and Linux for IBM System z9 and IBM zSeries. His first published experience with Xen was coauthoring an early academic paper entitled “Xen and the Art of Repeated Research.” Recently he has focused on developing highly available, enterprise customer solutions deployed on virtualized Linux using the z/VM hypervisor.
Todd Deshane expects to obtain a Ph.D. in Engineering Science from Clarkson University in 2008. He also has a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering from Clarkson. While at Clarkson University, he has had a variety of research publications–many involving Xen. In 2005, a project that was based on Todd’s Master’s thesis–an open source collaborative, large database explorer–won first place in the Unisys TuxMaster competition. Todd’s primary academic and research interests are in the area of operating system technologies, such as virtual machine monitors, high availability, and file systems. His doctoral dissertation focuses on using these technologies to provide desktop users with an attack-resistant experience, with automatic and autonomic recovery from viruses, worms, and adverse system modifications. During his Ph.D. years, Todd has been a teaching assistant and an IBM Ph.D. Fellowship recipient. At IBM, Todd has worked on internship projects involving Xen and IBM technologies. Todd enjoys teaching, tutoring, and helping people.
Wenjin Hu graduated from Clarkson University in 2007 with a Master’s degree of Computer Science and is currently working on his Ph.D. His Masters thesis was “A Study of the Performance Isolation Properties of Virtualization Systems.” His research field is applying virtualization techniques to operating systems and security.
Jeremy Bongio is currently a Master’s student at Clarkson University. He won second place in the Unisys Tuxmaster competition in 2005 with a project called Xenophilia, an early effort to make Xen more user friendly. He is a current member and former student director of the Clarkson Open Source Institute, where he actively learns and experiments with different kinds of virtualization.
Patrick F. Wilbur is currently pursuing graduate studies in Computer Science at Clarkson University. His interests include operating systems, systems and application security, natural language processing, and home automation. In his spare time, Patrick enjoys composing music, experimenting with amateur radio, storm chasing, and working on various electronics, software, and carpentry projects around the house. He is currently a member of the Clarkson Open Source Institute, a volunteer at the Applied Computer Science Laboratories at Clarkson University, an emergency communications volunteer, and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Brendan Johnson graduated from Clarkson University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. Brendan continued his education at Clarkson University and obtained a Master’s of Science in Computer Science with a thesis in quantum computing. Brendan is currently a senior software architect at Mobile Armor, a world leading “Data At Rest” encryption software company.
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The books is now dated. It mentions Xen version 3.0 and a few products that don't exist anymore. Having said that I still found it useful for background information. The book was written well for it's time as it covers both the novice and experienced user.
This book covers the Xen architecture and the management tools. There are the usual output examples.
There is also the explanation to setting up and establishing guests. Probably the best part for me was the Dom0 discussion and the endless links throughout the book. The networking side was a little basic and the same for device virtualization.
Just for fun; the charters are:
1) Xen--Background and Virtualization Basics
2) A Quick Tour with the Xen LiveCD
3) The Xen Hypervisor
4) Hardware Requirements and Installation of Xen Domain0
5) Using Prebuilt Guest Images
6) Managing Unprivileged Domains
7) Populating Guest Images
8) Storing Guest Images
9) Device Virtualization and Management
10) Network Configuration
11) Securing a Xen System
12) Managing Guest Resources.
13) Guest Save, Restore, and Live Migration
14) An Overview of Xen Enterprise Mangement Tools.
Overall, it's an ok book as it's dated. However, I did find it useful for a background information.
Running Xen takes a unique approach to introducing Xen to both the novice and expert virtualization user. The authors start off introducing just enough of the core concepts to give the reader an adequate basis on which the book later builds on to provide the required skills to effectively run a virtual environment. A brief explanation of Xen architecture follows with an overview of the management tools with real world examples showing actual output. I found this attention to often overlooked detail refreshing such as the use of ssh with keys and X Forwarding to securely communicate with guests impressive, instead of simply using an easier less secure method for example. The reader could choose to skip ahead if the topic was already understood but providing that level of detail is integral to the learning process in my opinion. Simply getting a Xen server up and running accomplishes nothing for the user needing to actually run and administer it after, which is where most technical books fail.
The walk through with guest disk images and creating them correctly was well appreciated instead of leaving that to the reader to hopefully figure out. All popular methods for populating guests were covered which allowed distro specific tools to be utilized instead of requiring non native methods or leaving the reader unprepared. Device virtualization was covered, but I assume as Xen is constantly evolving the information at print time regarding hiding a PCI device from Dom0 was still accurate but is now slightly different. Fortunately, all the pointers to additional reading would lead the user to finding the current procedure. Networking was covered in detail which is an often misunderstood part of Xen and a working example of a purely virtual segment using a dummy interface was shown which I found fairly useful. Guest resource management provided an understanding for topics such as the IO Scheduler and gave examples on how to tune it.
This was my second book on Xen and completely replaces the first as a much more competent reference. I highly recommend this book for anyone using Xen for its concrete basis and good reference it provides.
I think that "Running Xen" book ("A Hands-On Guide to the Art of Virtualization") will be a great help. It is written by the team of people who not only know Zen inside out, but who are also major contributors to the source.
The book is a hands-on guide for most popular distributions, but what I specially like is that it gives a very good theoretical background on virtualization (architecture, benefits, over of xen hypervisor etc). The hands-on section covers hardware requirements and software requirements, including specifics for the popular distributions (OpenSUSE, Centos (RHEL) and Ubuntu as well as notes on other Domain0 distributions.
Significant attention is given to managing of the custom installed or pre-built Guest images, management of unprivileged (guest) domains, storage, device virtualization, security, network configuration, management of guest resources, saving/restoration and live migrations.
What gives confidence while reading on these hands-on tasks is the authors' familiarity with the subject. They are people who know Xen inside out and many tips and notes you encounter will save you hours of browsing of mailing lists or trials and errors.
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