I have a home server I use for various things, and have recently switched over to using VMs, however I can't seem to find a decent VM solution that does what I want.


Connection keeps dropping every few minutes (So this means it's practically unusable), but with ParaVirtOps faster than VMWare ESXi, and I can use software RAID


Works fine, no connection drops, but I have to run it from USB stick, modify some archive file and I can't use software RAID


So are there any other solutions out there that do allow me to use software raid, that have a stable network connection, and that also offer paravirtualization

Update: KVM seems to run quite well, I'll have to wait and see if it doesn't develop any problems. I'll also try Xen again once I switch to CentOS


5 Answers 5


I have run Xen in production environments without any networking trouble. I think you should investigate that before looking into more complex solutions.

Amazon, Gandi and Rackspace also run Xen without such networking problems.

  • +1 I use VMware ESXi myself, but it can be assumed that the OP's networking problem is abnormal. I'd suggest trying an Intel NIC.
    – paradroid
    Dec 19, 2010 at 10:15
  • I am using an Intel nic Intel Pro 1000 / GT, weird part is it happens in Xen3 with PV and Xen4 with HVM but not with OpenVZ or ESXi Dec 20, 2010 at 13:45
  • Check your dmesg logs and syslogs to see if you have any errors relating to network problems. Dec 20, 2010 at 14:55
  • I checked the logs and they don't show any network problems Dec 22, 2010 at 20:38
  • Have you tried with another NIC ? Dec 23, 2010 at 7:34

I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but VirtualBox is a pretty good solution for what you're doing. You'll have to configure a couple things from the command line to give your VM access to the raw drives for software RAID, but it works.

  • 1
    Yeah running VirtualBox headless is a possibility but it's not really something made for servers is it ? Dec 20, 2010 at 13:48

I found for running Windows VMs that VMware ESXi seems to perform better than Xen. As far as I know, Windows does not support paravirtualisation.

If you want RAID support, there's a big "but how", because normally the VM will be accessing a large file on a drive somewhere. The VM hypervisor may manage RAID of the disk(s) and present a single disk view to the VM's. ESXi will do this for supported hardware RAID controllers.

The whole RAID + hypervisor issue needs careful consideration so that you really know what you are getting. If you want to be 100% sure an external box that is RAID but presents a single SATA / eSATA interface (and thus fools the hypervisor) is probably the most bulletproof.


I have been running KVM for quite a while. I have no network problems. I did switch to configuring the network outside of libvirt to reduce interactions with the server's firewall.

  • KVM was also an option however wouldn't that perform worse than Xen in PV mode. Dec 20, 2010 at 13:48

I have now switched to OpenVZ as I'm purely using Linux VMs, and it works pretty good, even though it's technically not really virtualization.

Also for the VM disks I am using LVM volumes and underneath that software RAID1.

I will revisit Xen once I have a new server box and see if the problem goes away on that.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .