Configuring a 2nd local partition on Citrix Xenserver 6.2

Recently, I came across a server with two storage arrays, one hdd  and one ssd. Citrix Xenserver was installed on the first storage array and the second one was not configured. I had to ssh on xenserver and run a few commands to force xenserver see the 2nd array properly.

First run fdisk -l

fdisk command

fdisk command

As you can see /dev/sda is the first storage array and /dev/sdb partition is not valid. So run pvcreate /dev/sdb to create the LVM on sdb physical storage device.

pvcreate command

pvcreate command

Finally create the local storage repository by running

xe sr-create type=lvm content-type=user device-config:device=/dev/sdb name-label="Local SSD"

sr-create command

sr-create command

Now the new storage disk will appear on xencenter under the “Local SSD” label.

Installing Xentools on Ubuntu 13.04 desktop on Citrix XenServer 6.2 hypervisor

When I installed ubuntu 13.04 desktop on a Citrix Xenserver 6.2 hypervisor I could not use XenMotion to live migrate the vm from one hypervisor to another since the xentools could not be installed via gui. The problem solved by running the following commands on a terminal session on ubuntu desktop (this works with the server edition as well).

First mount the dvddrive to xentools.iso on xencenter gui or by executing:

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /mnt

on a terminal console. Then run:

cd <mounted path>/Linux (in our case cd /mnt/Linux)

and

ls -la (to see the included packages) and finally

sudo dpkg -i ./<the package>.deb (there are 2 different versions for i386 and amd64 architectures)

and reboot the vm.

in my example I run sudo dpkg -i ./xe-guest-utilities_6.2.0-1120_i386.deb on my i5 box.

Depackaging xentools

Depackaging xentools

Now you are ready to suspend the vm or enable xenmotion and migrate the ubuntu virtual machine to another host.

Ubuntu vm live migration

Ubuntu vm live migration

Citrix Xenserver 6.2 Release

Today Citrix organized a webinar called Xenserver 6.2 Release under the Cloud Master Class series. The presenters summarized the new features and performance improvements of the free, now, Xenserver 6.2 and the open source advantages. It was a crowdy place with about a thousand registrations, 50% customers, 20% consultants, 20% partners and 10% potential customers, if I recall correctly. Citrix is on its way to grab more market share on server virtualization platforms!

I attach the latest slide of the presentation that underlines the main points of Citrix Xenserver 6.2

Xenserver 6.2 Summary

Xenserver 6.2 Summary

Looking forward to upgrade my setups…

More at http://www.xenserver.org

Citrix Xenserver hypervisor goes open source

Yesterday Citrix announced the availability of a full featured, open source, freely available XenServer 6.2 offering. Also introduced www.xenserver.org community portal for developers collaboration and 3rd party products integration. The free, open source Xenserver 6.2 is available at xenserver.org portal, which is the same binary as the licensed version. Citrix offers a fully supported commercial option as well, which includes packaged updates and worldwide technical support and new per-socket license pricing.

Xenserver provides an open source virtualization solution that could power major cloud orchestration platforms including the OpenStack, a global collaboration of developers and cloud computing enthusiasts producing an open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds.

In my opinion, Citrix is focusing on desktop virtualization and its supplemental network products. The future development of Xenserver platform will be in the hands of the open source community.

Citrix Netscaler 10.1 as a SPDY Proxy

At the end of May, Citrix announced version 10.1 of its Netscaler ADC. One of the new features is the support of Google’s SPDY v2 open protocol for any backend loadbalanced website (v3 is on the way). SPDY is like HTTP protocol with enchancements to reduce web page loading time, meaning faster Internet communication.

SPDY modifies the the way HTTP handles requests and responses. It uses compression, multiplexing and prioritarization to reduce the load latency. By multiplexing and prioritarizing the web objects of a page, only one connection is required. By compressing and deduplicating the headers the packet overhead size is reduced. A 30% to 60% performance improvement can be achieved by using SPDY.

Popular web browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Opera implement already this protocol and many heavy load websites have adopted his technology, like Google, Twitter, Facebook and WordPress to name a few. SPDY actually sits on HTTP layer, so the web applications on the datacenter do not need to be changed.  Now, even the web servers may remain intact since Netscaler’s SPDY proxy handles the SPDY client-server communication and translates it to HTTP for the backend servers.

You can check which websites use SPDY on a Chrome browser by typing

chrome://net-internals

at the URL address.

So, upgrade your Netscaler and enable the SPDY feature. More on this soon!