Xen in AWS instances

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Xen in AWS instances

Igor Chubin

Hi all,

I was an active Xen user in 2010-2012, but after that I had not so
much opportunities of using it, and I probably missed the most
important advances made in the last years.

I skimmed through the list archive but I did not manage to
find any information regarding my question.
And the question is: running Xen (dom0) in IaaS instances,
and particularly in AWS.

Strange enough, but I did not find any information about running
Xen in AWS Instances (I mean neither positive, nor negative).

Of course I knew that it is not officially supported,
but I though that dom0 + PV domains should theoretically
run in a HVM instance of any IaaS Cloud.
So I started experimenting with it.

I managed to start a AWS instance with Xen Domain 0 and a couple of
domains U (of course, only PV, not HVM) running inside.

I tested several images and the only one that ran out of the box was
the Debian 9 image.

Other images were crashing as soon as I tried to start a domain U.

With the Debian 9 image I had another problem:

I could not see any attached block devices, that I attached to the
instance. Even after reboot, they were not there.
Whe I switched the kernel and booted the instance with a normal
Linux kernel (without Xen), I could see them.

I also tried to use i3.metal (bare metal) instances
bt without any success at all (did not manage to start even dom0).

Now my questions:

1. Is it a good idea to start Xen inside AWS EC2 instances?

2. What combination of Xen/Linux kernel/Linux distribution
could be the best one for such experiments?

3. Why I didn't see any additional block devices in Dom0?
Is it a known problem? Or is it a peculiarity of my configuration?

4. Should Xen Domain 0 work on i3.metal AWS instances?

And one general question:

I known that MS Azure and GCP officially support nested
virtualization (first of all KVM). But what about Xen?
What cloud could be the best choice for starting a Xen domain 0

Thank you very much in advance,

Igor Chubin

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