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General Chat Thread, XenServer in General; Ok, so after a large curry and a few drinks last night, I've woken up with a clear head and ...
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    RSoP_Robbers's Avatar
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    XenServer

    Ok, so after a large curry and a few drinks last night, I've woken up with a clear head and this need to get XenServer up and cooking.

    I've used virtualisation on a basic level for various things for about two years but this is the big daddy that I've been waiting to try.

    I'm sure that a few Edugeekers use XenServer - am I going to cry like a baby or will I be able to virtualise The Matrix?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    XenServer is simple to use in my experience. Getting a server up and running takes but a few minutes. Then there is a useful tool 'XenConvert' which allows physical to virtual conversions to take place (note that this can and does fail on occasion, so sometimes virtualising requires you to start afresh in a virtual machine, transferring the roles over).

    I've now got 4 XenServer boxes running flawlessly, running 12 VMs so far.

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    RSoP_Robbers (19th June 2010)

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    RSoP_Robbers's Avatar
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    Ah fabulous! Thanks for that localzuk!

    Did you notice any patterns when running the XenConvert tool such as specific OS's etc that may fail?

    What spec boxes do you run and how many more machines do you think you would be able to run?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I've only tried it on one server myself and that was a Citrix XenApp/Terminal Server, and that just failed at the end every time I tried, so I gave up and built 4 new ones by hand instead.

    The servers I run it on are dual quad core xeon 2.83Ghz with 16GB RAM in them. The number of machines on each really depends on what demands your virtual machines have. For example, 4 of my vms are xenapp vms and they are quite heavy resource users, whereas the AD server VM I have on one barely uses any resources.

    My end goal will be about 4 vms per server.

    There are some servers that I won't be virtualising too, such as our SIMS server at the moment and our main file server - simply because I don't want to fiddle with those yet.

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    Sorry to jump in ... I've been looking into setting up a test lab at home for testing and learning. I know that ESXi is very picky as far as the hardware is concerned but I have some kit in mind which is compatible. Is XenServer equally picky? What about VirtualBox? I'd like to trial ESXi, XenServer and VirtualBox as the host for the VMs so would hope to have hardware which will run all of them.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    It isn't hugely picky, but it does need VT capable processors and the like. There's a list here: Citrix XenServer Hardware Compatibility List

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    RSoP_Robbers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I've only tried it on one server myself and that was a Citrix XenApp/Terminal Server, and that just failed at the end every time I tried, so I gave up and built 4 new ones by hand instead.

    The servers I run it on are dual quad core xeon 2.83Ghz with 16GB RAM in them. The number of machines on each really depends on what demands your virtual machines have. For example, 4 of my vms are xenapp vms and they are quite heavy resource users, whereas the AD server VM I have on one barely uses any resources.

    My end goal will be about 4 vms per server.

    There are some servers that I won't be virtualising too, such as our SIMS server at the moment and our main file server - simply because I don't want to fiddle with those yet.
    Thanks for that!

    To be honest, I had considered setting up a test SIMS install in a virtualised environment and just see how it fares. Should be good though!

    Just road testing XenServer on my Mac at the mo and the install is going very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    It isn't hugely picky, but it does need VT capable processors and the like.
    That's good to know. ESXi also needs a VT capable CPU so it looks like my ESXi configuration will work with XenServer. I'll check out the XenServer HCL carefully though ... just in case!

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    RSoP_Robbers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
    That's good to know. ESXi also needs a VT capable CPU so it looks like my ESXi configuration will work with XenServer. I'll check out the XenServer HCL carefully though ... just in case!
    I ran the installer yesterday on a Mac under VMWare Fusion just to have a look around and see how it all connects and it is exceptional. But yes, no VM's will run unless you have a VT capable chip. To be honest, if the machine you intend to run it on is =<4 years old, you should be OK. I'm going to give it a proper test run on a Q6600 tomorrow :-D

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