Tools for debugging and development on XenServer

Tools

Bonnie++

This is an open source project which helps measure and investigate network load and includes tools to investigate large file IO and creation/deletion of small files. There are lots of user guides and blogs on this tool.

CPU-Z

CPU-Z can be useful particularly if considering: How to investigate and use Turbo mode, C-States and P-States in XenServer

IOMeter

IOMeter is an open source tool, an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. IOMeter is an easy way to generate stress on the I/O system and as such can be very useful within development test of products interacting with or generating load on the OVS.

iperf

iperf is an open source utility that can be a very useful for diagnosing network issues in a XenServer environment. There are a large number of how-to-guides and introductory tutorials available such as here.

OProfile

OProfile is an open source tool available from http://oprofile.sourceforge.net/news/. A Xen specific varient is currently shipped in versions XS6.1 and upwards. It is detailed here: http://xenoprof.sourceforge.net/xenoprof_2.0.txt

thc-ipv6

This is an IPv6 protocol attack suite for Linux from www.thc.org/thc-ipv6, it can generate many varieties of malicious and corrupt packets that will allow vendor developers to assess the robustness of their solutions.

vhd-util

vhd-util is an unsupported tool shipped with XenServer adn as such should never be used as an "API" around which to construct an application relying on its provision or stability of results. However it is very useful as a tool for working with VHDs and snapshots. It can be used to check, display and understand VHD files including snapshot chains. There is limited documentation and you will probably need to refer to the command line help by typing "vhd-util" at the XenServer command line and then requesting help for the desired option e.g.

[root@dot56 ~]# vhd-util
usage: vhd-util COMMAND [OPTIONS]
COMMAND := { create | snapshot | query | read | set | repair | resize | fill | coalesce | modify | scan | check | revert }
[root@dot56 ~]# vhd-util check -h
options: -n <file> [-i ignore missing primary footers] [-I ignore parent uuids] [-t ignore timestamps] [-p check parents] [-b check bitmaps] [-s stats] [-h help]
[root@dot56 ~]#

Some further information is available:

WinDbg

WinDbg is one of a number of tools available for Debugging Windows Guests on XenServer

xentop

xentop displays real-time information about a Xen system. It is shipped with xen tools. This Citrix Support article details its use further: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX127896.

xl

The utility xl is actually part of the upstream Xen hypervisor developed as Open Source, as such the utility isn’t maintained by Citrix in XenServer but by Xen.org.

If find issues or have enquiries they need to be addressed to Xen via their mailing list process they will investigate; this page details how to do that and also the reports they specifically like to investigate “xl”: http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/Reporting_Bugs_against_Xen.

It can help to reference similar issues or post to them as you might access an expert quickly via existing threads: http://lists.xen.org/archives/html/xen-devel/2009-11/msg00885.html

We generally would not recommend that a XenServer developer use xl routinely to configure test cases or similar as it affects only part of the toolstack and as such the XenAPI and XAPI will be unaware of changes that can lead to a very confused toolstack and some rather strange effects.

xl can however be of some use for debug and diagnosis, particularly the inquiry options such as info [-n, --numa], by which you can query hardware information such as cores_per_socket and threads_per_core and similar data that you might want to log or keep in benchmarking assessments.

Benchmarking Software

Documentation on performance analysis and tools 

Feedback

If you think there is a tool that should be added to this page, or have additional information or comments regarding the tools already listed please do contribute your experience to the discussion thread, here; and we will endeavour to incorporate your feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

whose 'xenoprof' variant is available by default in tampa, clearwater and trunk:
http://xenoprof.sourceforge.net/xenoprof_2.0.txt

 

 

 

About XenServer

XenServer is the leading open source virtualization platform, powered by the Xen Project hypervisor and the XAPI toolstack. It is used in the world's largest clouds and enterprises.
 
Commercial support for XenServer is available from Citrix.