New network adapter emulation: replace the Realtek 100Mbit adapter by a 1Gbit adapter
One of the most annoying things about the Realtek adapter is that if you need to restore a VM, using tools like Appassure Replay, Acronis, .... the bootable Recovery media of course only detects the good old Reaktek 100MB adapter and restoring a large system, over a 100MB line takes forever. Using a 1GB adapter would speed up thing considerably. e.g. E1000 (like VMWare) it would also speed up system deployments using Microsoft WDS.
One note to begin with: Unfortunately isn't being used by the XenServer folks anymore, so if you want a change in XenServer you'll have to raise it through another channel.
Regarding the issue: when I said "the limiting factor is the emulation time", I meant that I'm pretty sure *any* emulated device would have similar performance. The emulator doesn't purposely limit the throughput for a 100MB adapter to only 100MB; nor does it promise that a 1G adapter will actually get 1G of throughput. In each case, the performance will be limited by one of the things on the datapath -- most likely the overhead of doing the emulation, which will probably be similar between emulated NICs.
In other words, I don't think switching to e1000 will actually speed up your system deployments, unfortunately.
Marc De Schryver commented
I'm not talking about the VM Environment once the Xentools have been installed.
The point is to boost network performance just for the pre Xentools environment.
The Xen drivers do not come in a flat file format (as fat as I know) so they cannot be injected into WinPE images.... If that was the case all problems would be solved.
The VMWare e1000 emulated hardware allows much faster loading in such a situation.
Is it too much to ask for an up-to-date basic network driver?
We're using Appassure for DR purposes but restore in a XEN VM is ridiculously slow. Citrix XenServer is our VM production platoform and I don't feel like moving to VMWare for sereval reasons. (cost not being one of them)
I'm pretty sure the limiting factor here is emulation time; your best bet is to use PV drivers if possible.
Florian Heigl commented
The e1000 driver might be more sane and might have - maybe - a 5% performance edge for that reason.
But defintely you're not limited to 100mbit so guys, please put your voices where it makes sense.
Christof Giesers commented
AFAIK it is just a name and a model and doesn't give any information about the speed.
We're running 10 GBE on our Server and of course the XenTools have no 10 GBE drivers for the VMs.
VMWare also installes a E1000 if you're using 10 GBE etc.
So that's just for the eyes, not for giving (limiting) speed.