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Re: [virt-tools-list] virt-v2v question involving esx



Yeah, I'm writing to an NFS server (my RHEV export server).  I'm going
between two switches that have two fiber pairs bonded together using
LACP, so I don't think it's a bandwidth issue.  I'm running the
virt-v2v command from a RHEL 6 vm that is on the same subnet as my NFS
target.

-Kenny

On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM, Matthew Booth <mbooth redhat com> wrote:
> On 18/03/11 13:04, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
>>
>> On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 08:40:31AM -0400, Kenneth Armstrong wrote:
>>>
>>> On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 8:06 AM, Dennis Jacobfeuerborn
>>> <dennisml conversis de>  wrote:
>>>>
>>>> On 03/18/2011 11:34 AM, Matthew Booth wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> On 17/03/11 19:27, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> [Adding Matt]
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 02:59:40PM -0400, Kenneth Armstrong wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I have a vm on an esx server that I want to convert using virt-v2v. I
>>>>>>> know that it can connect to the esx server and copy the vmdk files
>>>>>>> down to do its conversion, but can I just use wget or something like
>>>>>>> that to copy the vmdk files down first, then use virt-v2v to convert
>>>>>>> the vm?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The reason that I ask is that it would be better for me to do it this
>>>>>>> way, so that after I copy the vm files down, I can start the vm back
>>>>>>> up and let it be used while virt-v2v does the conversion on the
>>>>>>> copied
>>>>>>> image files. I like virt-v2v, but it takes a long time to do it's job
>>>>>>> with the copying.
>>>>>
>>>>> Are you saying that wget is substantially faster than virt-v2v's
>>>>> copying?
>>>>> I
>>>>> ask because virt-v2v uses the same http interface to retrieve the
>>>>> image.
>>>>> It
>>>>> actually streams and writes directly to the target destination, so
>>>>> unless
>>>>> the target destination is slow, I wouldn't expect this to save you a
>>>>> significant amount of time. The actual conversion process usually takes
>>>>> about a minute, so the copying time dominates almost completely.
>>>>>
>>>>> It is possible to do what you're asking, but it's a hassle. You'd need
>>>>> to
>>>>> obtain the storage files, create a local libvirt XML file which points
>>>>> to
>>>>> the local copies, then run virt-v2v using the libvirtxml input method.
>>>>
>>>> If the vmdk file is sparse then you might end up copying a lot less data
>>>> compared to a virt-v2v copy and since as you point out the copying is
>>>> the
>>>> thing that dominates the migration time that can potentially be a big
>>>> win.
>>>> It would be nice if virt-v2v had an option to not copy the block device
>>>> but
>>>> instead the contents of a filesystem but that would probably make things
>>>> much more complicated since you'd have to support all kinds of
>>>> filesystems,
>>>> LVM, potentially also copy UUID's etc., etc.
>>>
>>> Dennis is spot on.
>>>
>>> If I copy down the file straight from the ESX server's web interface,
>>> it's quite quick.  However, when I try it through virt-v2v, the
>>> process takes hours downloading/converting the same file.
>>>
>>> The vmdk file in question is a sparse disk.  So I assume that virt-v2v
>>> is expanding the disk out during the whole process?
>>>
>>> -Kenny
>
> Sparseness isn't doing anything for you here. HTTP doesn't have the ability
> to represent sparseness[1], so it's copying all the zeroes 1 by 1 in both
> cases. In order to get any benefit from sparseness in this case you'd need
> filesystem level access. I considered sshfs for this, but unfortunately it
> can't support the ioctl required to efficiently detect sparseness on the
> remote end. This means you're still left copying over all the data in order
> to find sparse sections. The only remaining advantage to sshfs is that it
> supports compression, which obviously works well on sparse files.
>
> To summarise, in order to exploit sparseness on ESX we'd need either:
>
> 1. An agent running on the ESX server which can exploit sparseness.
> 2. An explicitly sparse file format.
>
> Unless the former already exists (e.g. sftp-server) and I've missed it, this
> approach likely won't fly, as it would require the ESX administrator to
> install non-VMware software on their server.
>
> I believe vmdk is able to do explicit sparse, although in practise it never
> seems to be configured this way. Even if the guest was configured this way,
> qemu doesn't support it, so we can't use it yet.
>
> So this comes down to: why is virt-v2v's copy so much slower than wget doing
> the same thing? It could be down to inefficient chunking or similar, but I'd
> guess it's more likely related to where it's writing to. Is it writing to
> NFS by any chance? If so, what's the network like between you and the NFS
> target?
>
> Matt
>
> [1] Unless it supports compression, which nothing does in practise.
> --
> Matthew Booth, RHCA, RHCSS
> Red Hat Engineering, Virtualisation Team
>
> GPG ID:  D33C3490
> GPG FPR: 3733 612D 2D05 5458 8A8A 1600 3441 EA19 D33C 3490
>


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