Linux Xen High Availability Clusters Configuration Tutorial

last updated in Categories File system, Hardware, High performance computing, Linux, Linux Scalability, Linux Virtualization, UNIX, Windows, xen

Xen is one of the leading Virtualization software. You can use Xen virtualization to implement HA clusters. However, there are few issues you must be aware of while handling failures in a high-availability environment. This article explains configuration options using Xen:


The idea of using virtual machines to build high available clusters is not new. Some software companies claim that virtualization is the answer to your HA problems, off course that’s not true. Yes, you can reduce downtime by migrating virtual machines to another physical machine for maintenance purposes or when you think hardware is about to fail, but if an application crashes you still need to make sure another application instance takes over the service. And by the time your hardware fails, it’s usually already too late to initiate the migration.

So, for each and every application you still need to look at whether you want to have it constantly available, if you can afford the application to be down for some time, or if your users won’t mind having to relogin when one server fails.

=> Using Xen for High Availability Clusters []


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

2 comment

  1. Xen/HA is indeed an interesting combo.
    One thing that has to be taken into account though is the filesystem performance – if the disk device is not directly passed up to Xen the performance will suffer – I saw tests with 5-10% decrease.
    Another issue is memory consumption – some megabytes are still required for the Dom0.
    So unfortunately some cases may require using pure HA only (for the services), without Xen.

  2. Thanks for posting the article(Using Xen for High Availability Clusters).I read and also listened to it.
    There are good examples and scripts in that article as well which are useful.
    Xen is fairly new to me and although I have set up few xen guests on our servers I do not quite understand the networking part of it!
    So I am looking to find more articles like this on the net….
    thanks a lot!

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