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Escaping Image Storage Hell: Xen Image Manager

Thu, Jul 26th 2007: Oregon, USA: OSCON

One of the largely unsolved problems facing Xen administrators is how to manage the storage of so many machine images. Storage mechanisms such as NFS, loopback filesystems, LVM partitions, fibrechannel, and network block devices all have their own unique problems. After bashing his head against most of the suggested approaches Jonathan gave in and did what all lazy sysadmins do: start writing his own system. Inspired by the architecture of the Google File System but operating at a higher level on top of existing filesystems and LVM partitions, Xen Image Manager allows administrators to create VM images on arbitrary nodes of a Xen cluster and have copies of the images automatically replicated to other nodes for backup and failover.