Came across this new documentation for SLES 12 SP2
In general, all SUSE documentation has been 99% applicable to use in all versions of openSUSE, so this documentation is important for us, too. And, it’s been said that recent community openSUSE documentation is supposed to be derived from SUSE documentation.
Skimming this very long document, I have mixed feelings, I’ve already noticed a few really significant problems compared with previous SUSE documentation.
There are new, very valuable sections that describe how to manage KVM, Xen and LXC, plus libvirt (virt manager and virt install).
But, there is also a lot that misses the mark with this new documentation (varying in importance).
One big hunk of Virtualization documentation
This new format that combines what used to be at least 3 very large documentation into one massive documentation has promise but is not executed well enough for the benefits to outweigh the drawbacks. A major possible benefit is to create one piece of documentation for shared and common methods and technologies, particularly when using libvirt. But, relevant KVM documentation is now not in one place, and documentation as a whole is less cohesive with less clarity when a topic is fully covered or not. Possibly the biggest drawback is that any search now returns results from many virtualization technologies, not the specific one you want. I’ve looked at this before, in concept is deceptively easy but the many details makes integration difficult (but possible).
KVM command line
Completely missing. Not mentioned. Is this important? Maybe not if the User uses libvirt (virsh) for practically everything (of course QEMU commands for full virtualization). But, for anyone expecting to migrate from another distro to SUSE/openSUSE, this is a black hole of nothingness. It looks like for comparison, there is some Xen command documentation(xl). Also, by completely omitting any mention of KVM commands, essential warnings and descriptions related to importing into libvirt are not covered (unless exists and I missed it), this is exclusive of this relatively new tool for importing Xen guests and P2V(marked experimental).
A network bridging configuration vs a bridging device.
A big, complete miss here. Poor and misleading. Elsewhere down the document, there is at least one generic reference to a “device” that assumes the User understands what is what.
Terminology KVM vs Xen
Some attempt to describe the difference between Full Virtualization and Paravirtualization in more generic terms, but still incorrectly mixes and matches terminology used by each technology. Very bad for educational purposes and can be a source of confusion. I did not notice this in SUSE 11 SP4 documentation, why did this problem which exists in the openSUSE documentation all of a sudden now show up in SUSE documentation?
Extensive new “How-to” and topics describing how to use. Very interesting and will require evaluation. But, possibly one of the most important things to know is not covered, which is how to configure vm manager to support various virtualization technologies, and most specifically how to switch from “normal” paravirtualized KVM guests to full virtualization QEMU guests. Right now, the documentation describes only command line management for QEMU.
Some odd keystroke combinations
ALT-CTL instead of CTL-ALT. I’ve assumed that most supported languages except for Arabic and Chinese read from left to right, so the order of keys on the keyboard might be important. Could changing the order influence Users to use the keys on the right side of the keyboard (incorrectly) instead?
At this point,
I’ll probably still point Users to the SUSE 11 SP4 documentation for more basic information for its accuracy,
And to the new SUSE 12 SP2 documentation only for very specific solutions not in the older documentation.
At least until and with the hope that the SUSE 12 SP2 documentation is improved.