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From: Olivier Poitrey (olivier_at_pas-tres.net)
Date: Sat 02 Oct 2004 - 18:18:36 BST

On 2 oct. 04, at 06:28, David MacKinnon wrote:

> Hey. I know I vaguely recall someone talking about running vservers
> over nfs (ie the vserver directory is hosted on an nfs server, run on
> a front-end). I was just wondering if anyone who has set up something
> like this would care to comment on general performance, and any tuning
> they did?

> We're looking at seting up something like this for our hosting
> facility, to provide greater flexibility, but I didn't realise quite
> how slow nfs
> could be :( We are/were hoping to run over a dozen vservers over this
> setup.
> Any comments/suggestions?

Hey David,

I'm the project technical-leader for the Lycos VDS product which use
the great Linux-Vserver solution. All our vservers are running over
NFS. Herbert helped us to make it working by making a breach in the
ip4root jail to allow NFS related VFS calls allowed with the IP of the

Thus it's now possible to mount root directories on the host and to
start vservers in it. It's somewhat secure (as long as vservers IP are
in a different network) but lead to some performance and locking
troubles. So you'll have to really fine tune your filer and your
network to be as fast as possible. For locking we are experiencing some
dead lock problems but it should be fixable. We are now in public beta
testing for this solution, and it's working well so far. I have to
admit that the most part of problem we got was related to the fact that
we are using NFS for storage.

My conclusion is that it's really painful to setup this kind of
solution, but the result is really flexible for big big vserver
solution like ours. Anyway, if you want to go with it, you should have
a lot less problems than we got, because all the vserver integration
part is now completed (thanks Herbert) and considered as stable so far.
You will be really welcome as a one more tester of such kind of
Linux-Vserver usage.

Olivier Poitrey

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