[CentOS-virt] Windows HVM VMs - speed needed...

Mon Jul 14 19:33:40 UTC 2008
Stephen <sdw2 at shineonline.co.nz>

Hi All,

I was hoping to run a Windows 2003 server in production on Centos 5.2 
however the performance isn't very good.

The host is Centos 5.2 64 bit. I did some file transfers and I'm seeing 
about 12Mb/s on a Windows 2003 VM and about 8Mb/s on a Windows 2003 32 
bit VM. Numbers are measured using the builtin Windows 2003 server 
networking monitor (Press Ctrl Alt Del in Windows and go to the Windows 

The server is an IBM xServe about a year old and the VMs are running in 
LVM partitions. Switches are Cisco Gigabit. So the hardware for server 
performance and network performance are not a limiting factor - I 
understand that the results I'm seeing are typical without running 
paravirtualized drivers in Windows.

Just wanted to ask what the options are to get things going faster. I 
believe the choices are:-
- Pay the dollars for a RedHat subscription which includes 
paravitualized drives for Windows
  - Install the LGPL PV drivers (don't want to do this, these are 
production machines and even up to a few months ago I'm seeing reports 
of VM corruption in the list. It would appear that the LGPL PV drivers 
are not at production standard yet)
  - Pay for an alternative Xen distribution, such as Xen's commercial 

Can someone confirm, have I covered all the bases?