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Is it possible to run windows under paravirtualized xen? Linux is possible because you can modify it. If you cannot run windows then what are the other alternatives to improve I/O performance?

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3 Answers 3

Yes, paravirtualization (PV) is possible. See for instance:

http://wiki.prgmr.com/mediawiki/index.php/Chapter_13:_Xen_and_Windows

which lists several commercial offerings (from Citrix, Virtual Iron, and Novell), as well as some GPL'ed drivers by James Harper. See the site below:

http://wiki.univention.de/index.php?title=Installing-signed-GPLPV-drivers

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No, you cannot run Windows as a PV guest, but you can use PV drivers from within the HVM environment to increase performance.

"Windows falls into the category of an unmodified operating system (in other words an operating system that has not been altered specifically to run on the Xen hypervisor). Thus, paravirtualization is not an option. " -- http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/DomU_Support_for_Xen

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