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Top 5 #Citrix #XenServer Questions from the Citrix Master Class

February 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Below are the top 5 XenServer questions raised from the Citrix Master Class posted by Amanda Saunders!

Let’s face it, XenServer has been around for quite a while. Citrix purchased the hypervisor back in 2007 and released it entirely free to the market in 2009. Since then, we’ve seen over 1 million downloads of the product and mass adoption in all sorts of businesses from SMBs to the largest service providers. Despite all this, we had almost 700 first time attendees on our XenServer Master Class last week taking a look at what this product has to offer. The newbies were joined by 300 additional Master Class veterans who continue to return to see what we’ll be showing off this time on our British radio show inspired, tech webinar. All of the attendees joined in to keep us busy, asking hundreds of questions for our XenServer experts to answer live on the webinar. If you missed it, watch the recording and read a summary of the top questions asked by the audience.

Why are cloud providers choosing XenServer to power their clouds?

This question could have an entire blog post dedicated to it, but I will try to address it as simply as possible. Currently 80% of Citrix CloudPlatform and Apache CloudStack environments are built on top of Xen or XenServer. Why? The high level reasons are scalability and cost*.

Scalability comes from XenServer’s fully replicated architecture across all hosts in an environment. This means there is no management server required to manage a given number of hosts. Should the master host in a pool go down, any other host can be promoted to replace it with no loss of functionality or configuration. In practice, this means cloud providers can freely choose to cluster hosts as required without incurring any additional configuration or management complexity based on cluster size.

While cost is an important factor for every company to consider, it is particularly important when you’re looking at licensing hundreds or even thousands of hosts. Both the open source version of XenServer and the premium version of XenServer that is included as part of your CloudPlatform entitlement, mean cloud providers can get the virtualization layer of their cloud at no cost. These savings can then be turned into additional differentiated service offerings or added savings to their end user.

 *other reasons include open source base, flexibility, VM density and tenant isolation.

XenMotion, what is it and is it free?

We have a competitor in the space who likes to use “v” in a lot of their feature names. A good rule of thumb to find the corresponding feature in XenServer is to replace “v” with “Xen”. XenMotion is our live migration feature that allows you to move VMs from one host in a pool to another provided that the pool has shared storage attached. This has been available in our free version since 2009.

Storage XenMotion is a brand new feature that we released with XenServer 6.1. This feature enables you to move VMs between hosts without the requirement of shared storage which lessens the hardware requirement/expense for both cloud providers using commodity hardware and SMBs with smaller environments. Storage XenMotion is available in our advanced version of XenServer.

Is there an easy way to get support for my environment, even if I’m running on free?

For those of you running a premium edition of XenServer (Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum) we recently changed our support model to offer unlimited, 24×7 support for paid editions of XenServer at about 7% of license cost. What does this mean to the free users out there? Well, it means you can no longer purchase support from Citrix for your XenServer environment. That being said, in addition to the incredible support you can get on the forums, we’ve also introduced a new Citrix Auto Support tool that can do a sanity check of your environment. Simply upload a log file and we’ll check for any issues that we recognize including missing patches, known bugs or configuration errors. This tool can be used for both free or paid editions, so try it out for yourself at http://taas.citrix.com.

What is MonitorIT?

A big thank you to our friends at Goliath Technologies who demoed their brand new version of MonitorIT on our XenServer Master Class. This solution delivers proactive monitoring of your entire environment right out of XenCenter or directly from a browser. What do we mean by “entire environment”? Virtual servers, physical servers, VDI, applications, databases, log management, network, storage, data center components, workstations – EVERYTHING! Do you have multiple hypervisors in your environment? Monitor your vSphere clusters straight from your XenCenter console using this product. You can go one step further and have MonitorIT proactively make changes to alleviate bottlenecks in your environment so the business can keep doing business without interruption. Don’t take my word for it, check out their free trial for yourself. They’ve even opened up their early access program so you can access all the great new features that…

 

Continue reading here!

//Richard

PVS support in XenServer 6.1 – via @_POPPELGAARD – #XenServer, #Citrix, #PVS

January 22, 2013 1 comment

Good blog post from Thomas Poppelgaard!

And this is something that many have waited for, either they upgraded and ran into the issues and had to revert back to 6.0.2… but now it’s fixed! 🙂

Citrix have released Hotfix XS61E009 & XS61E010 for XenServer 6.1 and now you are able to have Citrix Provisioning Services with XS 6.1 and use VVS.
I have been waiting for this for a while.

Issues Resolved In This Hotfix XS61E009

  1. Virtual Machines (VMs) with out of date XenServer Tools, may not be flagged as “out of date” in XenCenter. This hotfix resolves this issue and enables customers to be notified in XenCenter when new XenServer Tools are available.
  2. Booting a Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) target device using a Boot Device Manager (BDM) image can take an extended time to complete. This hotfix resolves this issue.

Issues Resolved In This Hotfix XS61E010

  1. Customers using XenServer Platinum Edition to license Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) may find that one PVS license per VM is checked out, rather than one PVS license per XenServer host. This may lead to a shortage of PVS licenses and an inability to provision VMs. Installing this hotfix along with CTX135672 – Hotfix CPVS61016 (Version 6.1.16) – For Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1 – English resolves this issue.
  2. Attempts to shut down Microsoft Windows Vista and later VMs can cause intermittent blue screen errors, with a "STOP: 0x0000009f..." error message.
  3. Adding more than eight NICs to Microsoft Windows Vista and later VMs, using the xe CLI can lead to a blue screen error on reboot.
  4. Copying data to a Microsoft Windows 2003 VM can cause the VMs to hang and lead to a grey screen error.
  5. When Dynamic Memory Control (DMC) is enabled, attempts to migrate Microsoft Windows XP and later VMs using XenMotion can cause the VMs to hang and lead to blue screen error.
  6. When the Citrix Xen Guest Agent service is running, Cut and Paste will not work between a XenDesktop virtual desktop and the endpoint device.
  7. Microsoft Windows XP and later VMs may hang during the boot process and may have to be forced to reboot.
  8. Attempting to install or upgrade the XenServer Tools on Microsoft Windows Vista and later VMs, which do not have access to a paravirtualized or an emulated network device can cause the installation process to hang.
  9. Manually installing the Legacy XenServer Tools without changing the device_id to 0001 can result in a "STOP: 0x0000007B..."error when rebooting a Windows VM. After installing this hotfix, customers will not be able to manually install the Legacy XenServer Tools by running xenlegacy.exe

Continue reading here!

//Richard

XenServer 6.1 Releases

Over the past several months, literally hundreds of people have asked me the question “When will Tampa release?”  I am pleased to announce that earlier today, “Tampa” officially reached GA as XenServer 6.1.  Within engineering, this is officially considered a “cloud centric” release.  While on the surface that would seem to indicate a lack of features for traditional server virtualization and desktop, but the reality is quite different.  When you consider that a cloud runs in a datacenter, and that cloud workloads typically translate into some pretty large VM densities, all with a requirement for a high degree of workload isolation; “cloud centric” actually translates into a set of pretty stringent performance requirements.  To illustrate the point, let’s consider three key features, live storage migration, network security and VM conversion.

When you look at some of the most successful clouds, you’ll quickly see that the concept of resource pools are somewhat limiting.  Regardless of the size of the pool, if your cloud is successful, eventually you’re going to have more customers than can fit in your cluster or pool.  During the design phase for Storage XenMotion, we accounted for this with the result being a shared nothing live storage migration solution which works equally well across all storage types and without being confined to an arbitrary resource pool concept.  While designed for the cloud, it fully supports enterprise storage management requirements, and even supports live VM migration between local storage for those cases where shared storage wasn’t implemented.

Continue reading here

//Richard

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