11.3 Preparing to Install a NetWare VM Guest Server

11.3.1 Planning for VM Host Servers

Meeting Server Hardware and Software Requirements

To accommodate NetWare VM guest servers, your VM host servers must:

  • Meet the criteria specified in Setting Up a Virtual Machine Host in the Virtualization with Xen guide.

  • Have enough memory (RAM) on the physical machine for:

    • The SLES 10 operating system (512 MB)

    • Any of the supported OES services that you install on the VM host (512 MB)

    • Each NetWare virtual machine that you plan to run concurrently (1 GB to 8 GB)

    For example, if you are installing one NetWare VM guest server on a SLES 10 VM host server, you need a minimum of 1.5 GB of memory: 512 MB for the VM host server and 1 GB for the NetWare VM guest server. For optimal performance, you should allocate as much memory as possible for each NetWare VM guest, up to 8 GB each.

  • Have enough disk space on the host server for creating and running the VM guest servers.

    The default disk space for a NetWare VM guest server is 10 GB. You might need more or less space, depending on what you will use the guest server for and what its storage configuration will be. You might want to locate your virtual machines on a separate partition or even on a separate storage device. For example, you might create a /vm partition on a separate drive installed in the server. For additional information, see Storage Planning.

Deciding Whether to Run OES Services on VM Host Servers

You should also decide whether to install OES 2 SP3 and one or more of its supported services on your VM host servers.

To ensure that optimal resources are available to the virtual machines, each VM host server should be dedicated to running the Xen virtualization software as much as possible. However, there are several good reasons why you might want to choose to install one or more of the supported OES services on the host server itself. For more information, see Why Install OES Services on Your VM Host? in the OES 2 SP3: Planning and Implementation Guide.

11.3.2 Planning for NetWare VM Guest Servers

Before creating NetWare virtual machines, you need to plan for the following:

RAM Planning

To ensure the best performance by your NetWare VM guests, you should plan for the optimal RAM configuration of each NetWare VM guest server. As a general rule, the more RAM you assign to a NetWare guest server (up to 8 GB), the better the server performance is. For specific planning information, see Optimizing Server Memory in the NW 6.5 SP8: Server Memory Administration Guide.

Storage Planning

The disk space that you allocate while creating the Xen virtual machines is used by the NetWare VM guest for the sys: volume.

For best performance in a Xen virtual environment, NSS pools and volumes on NetWare should be created on virtual devices that are SCSI devices, Fibre Channel devices, or iSCSI devices on the host server, or on partitions that are on those types of devices.

SATA or IDE disks have slower performance because special handling is required when working through the Xen driver to ensure that data writes are commited to the disk in the order intended before the driver reports back.

For more information on NSS disk storage, see Using NSS in a Virtualization Environment in the OES 2 SP3: NSS File System Administration Guide for Linux.

Network Planning

Each Xen guest VM is assigned one virtualized network card by default. You can create additional cards if desired.

You must obtain one static IP address for each virtualized network card you plan to create on your NetWare VM guest servers. OES 2 SP3 does not support dynamically assigned (DHCP) IP addresses.

eDirectory Planning

You can place a NetWare virtual machine in an existing tree or as the first server in a new tree. However, the performance of virtualized NetWare doesn’t match a physical NetWare installation. In most cases, it is probably preferable to add your NetWare virtual machine to an existing tree located on a physical NetWare server, particularly if the tree is large.

Also, because virtualized servers might be started and stopped more often than they would normally be on physical servers, we recommend that the master replica (usually the first server in a tree) be placed on a system that is running at all times. For more information about master replicas, see Managing Partitions and Replicas in the Novell eDirectory 8.8 Administration Guide.

11.3.3 You Must Use Timesync for Time Synchronization

Because of known issues with Xen and the NTP NLM, you must use Timesync as the time synchronization method for NetWare VM guests running on Xen VM hosts. Otherwise, time drift causes problems for your NetWare VM guests.

Keeping accurate time is a critical function for servers in an eDirectory tree. The reported time must be synchronized across the network to provide the expiration dates and time stamps necessary for ordering eDirectory events.

NetWare VM guest servers synchronize time in the same ways that NetWare physical servers do. In other words, the clock on the VM host server has no influence on the NetWare VM guest server’s time.

IMPORTANT:To ensure that your NetWare VM guest is configured correctly, be sure to follow the instructions in Configuring Time Synchronization (specifically Step 4) in the NW65 SP8: Installation Guide, and configure the NetWare VM guest to get time from the same time source as the eDirectory tree it is joining. If the time source specified is an NTP server, be sure to select the NTP option next to the source’s DNS name or IP address. This enables Timesync to communicate with the NTP time source.

11.3.4 Disabling the Alt+Esc Shortcut on the Host

Alt+Esc is used on a NetWare server to switch between console screens, but on SLES 10 it moves between open windows. To provide the expected behavior for the virtualized NetWare server, you must disable the shortcut for SLES 10.

  1. On the host server as the root user, click Computer > Control Center.

  2. Click Personal > Shortcuts.

  3. Under the Window Management category, click Move between windows immediately, then press the Backspace key to disable the shortcut.

  4. Click Close.

  5. Close the Control Center.