Upgrading a Citrix XenServer 5.5 Resource Pool with XenServer 5.5 Update 2

February 18, 2010

XenServer

In this article, you will learn how to upgrade a XenServer 5.5 resource pool with Update 2 for XenServer 5.5.  Update 2 for XenServer 5.5 provides support for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 guests.  Update 2 also provides numerous bug fixes, along with an updated version of XenCenter.
Two methods exist that can be used to upgrade a resource pool:
1.    Update all hosts in the pool at one time, which will require that all virtual machines (VMs) be shutdown.
2.    Use the rolling pool upgrade method, which uses XenMotion to shuttle running VMs between pool members.
The advantage of Method 1 is that all pool members are updated at one time.  The disadvantage is that all VMs must be shut down.
The advantage of Method 2 is that running VMs can be migrated to another pool member, so there is no down time for the VM.  The disadvantages are that the pool members must be updated one at a time, and the update file must be removed from the pool master each time.
Both methods have three common steps:
1.    Download the XenServer 5.5 Update 2 upgrade file.
2.    Download the XenCenter Update 2 update.
3.    Upgrade XenCenter.
Method 1 of upgrading a resource pool adds the following steps:
4.    Shut down all VMs.
5.    Upgrade XenServer.
6.    Upgrade XenTools.
Method 2 of upgrading a resource pool adds the following steps:
4.    Upgrade XenServer on the pool master.
5.    Move any running VMs from the pool master to another pool member.
6.    Reboot the pool master.
7.    Upgrade a pool member.
8.    Move any running VMs to another pool member.
9.    Reboot the pool member.
10.    Repeat steps 7 through 9 for each remaining pool member.
11.    Upgrade XenTools once all pool members have been upgraded.
12.    Move the VMs back to the original pool member.

Common Steps
Open your Internet browser from your XenCenter management computer, browse to http://support.citrix.com  and click XenServer (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Click XenServer 5.5 (Figure 2).

Figure 2

Click XenServer 5.5 Update 2 (Figure 3).

Figure 3

Click XS55EU2 (Figure 4).

Figure 4

Save the XenServer-5.5.0-Update2.xsupdate file to a location that is available to XenCenter (Figure 5).

Figure 5

The XenCenter update is located on another Citrix web site. When the XenServer download is complete, browse to http://www.mycitrix.com and click Downloads (Figure 6).

Figure 6

Click the XenServer box (Figure 7).

Figure 7

Click Download XenCenter (Figure 8).

Figure 8

Save the XenServer-5.5.0-Update2-XenCenter.msi file (Figure 9).

Figure 9

Close your Internet browser.  Double-click the XenServer-5.5.0-Update2-XenCenter.msi file from your XenCenter management computer and click Run (Figure 10).

Figure 10

Click Next (Figure 11).

Figure 11

Click Next (Figure 12).

Figure 12

XenCenter can be installed so that only you or all users can run it.  Select either All Users or Just Me and click Next (Figure 13).

Figure 13

Click Install (Figure 14).

Figure 14

Click Finish (Figure 15).

Figure 15

Double-click the Citrix XenCenter 5.5 icon on the desktop (Figure 16).

Figure 16

Click Help > About XenCenter (Figure 17).

Figure 17

Verify that your XenCenter version is 5.5.2 build 25727 and click OK (Figure 18).

Figure 18

Method 1 of Upgrading a Resource Pool
Right-click your resource pool and click Connect (Figure 19).

Figure 19

Enter the proper credentials and click Connect (Figure 20).

Figure 20

Resume any suspended VMs.  Suspended VMs are represented by a blue, paused icon (Figure 21).

Figure 21

Perform any of the following actions to resume a suspended VM,:
–    Right-click the VM and click Resume (Figure 22).
–    Click the VM and click the Resume button on the toolbar.
–    Click the VM, click VM from the menu bar and click Resume.
–    Click the VM and press Ctrl+Y.

Figure 22

Shut down all running VMs.  Running VMs are represented by a green, running icon (Figure 23).

Figure 23

Either shut down running VMs one at a time or enter the service xapi-domains stop command from the XenServer console prompt.
Perform any of the following actions to shutdown an individual VM,:
–    Right-click the VM and click Shutdown (Figure 24).
–    Click the VM and click the Shutdown button on the toolbar.
–    Click the VM, click VM from the menu bar and click Shutdown.
–    Click the VM and press Ctrl+E.
–    Log in to the VM and use the operating system to shut down.

Figure 24

To shutdown the remaining VMs, click a XenServer host in the left pane, click the Console tab, click into the black console area and press Enter (Figure 25).

Figure 25

Type service xapi-domains stop and press Enter (Figure 26).

Figure 26

This step will need to be repeated for each XenServer host that has running VMs.
Now that all VMs have been shut down, the XenServer 5.5 Update 2 can be installed.
From the menu bar, click Tools and Install New Update… (Figure 27).

Figure 27

Select your XenServer resource pool and click Next (Figure 28).

Figure 28

Browse to the update file and click Next (Figure 29).

Figure 29

The update is uploaded to the XenServer host (Figure 30).

Figure 30

Manual update mode is selected and states that the XenServer host must be rebooted.  Click Finish (Figure 31).

Figure 31

The update is now applied to the XenServer hosts (Figures 32 and 33).

Figure 32

Figure 33

When the update is fully applied, right-click each XenServer host and select Reboot (Figure 34).

Figure 34

Prior to the update, the following screenshot shows the previous XenServer version information (Figure 35).

Figure 35

After the update and reboot, the following screenshot shows the current XenServer version information (Figure 36).

Figure 36

The build number changed from 24648p to 25727p, and the build date changed from 2009-12-02 to 2010-01-12.
Another way to verify that the update was successful is to start creating a new VM.  Scroll down the list of Templates, and you will see three new entries (Figure 37):
–    Windows 7
–    Windows 7 x64
–    Windows Server 2008 R2 x64
Click Cancel.

Figure 37

After updating your XenServer hosts, upgrade XenServer Tools for all VMs.  Start a VM and log in to the VM.  In the left pane, click the VM, from the menu bar click VM and select Install XenServer Tools (Figure 38).

Figure 38

Click Install XenServer Tools (Figure 39).

Figure 39

Follow the prompts to install XenServer Tools and reboot the VM.

Method 2 of Upgrading a Resource Pool
Right-click your resource pool and click Connect (Figure 40).

Figure 40

Enter the proper credentials and click Connect (Figure 41).

Figure 41

Resume any suspended VMs.  Suspended VMs are represented by a blue, paused icon (Figure 42).

Figure 42

Perform any of the following actions to resume a suspended VM:
–    Right-click the VM and click Resume (Figure 43).
–    Click the VM and click the Resume button on the toolbar.
–    Click the VM, click VM from the menu bar and click Resume.
–    Click the VM and press Ctrl+Y.

Figure 43

Once all suspended VMs have been resumed, from the menu bar, click Tools and Install New Update… (Figure 44).

Figure 44

Select your XenServer resource pool master and click Next (Figure 45).

Figure 45

Browse to the update file and click Next (Figure 46).

Figure 46

The update is uploaded to the XenServer pool master (Figure 47).
Note:  Regardless of which pool member is being updated, the update file is always copied up to the pool master.  You will receive an error message for each additional pool member that is updated, saying that the update file already exists on the pool master.  You will learn later how to resolve this issue.

Figure 47

Manual update mode is selected and states that XenServer host must be rebooted.  Click Finish (Figure 48).

Figure 48

The update is now applied to the XenServer pool master (Figure 49).

Figure 49

When the update is fully applied, right-click each running VM on the XenServer pool master, click Migrate to Server and then select another pool member to which the VM should be migrated (Figure 50).

Figure 50

Once all running VMs have been migrated from the XenServer pool master (Figure 51), right-click the pool master and select Reboot (Figure 52).

Figure 51

Figure 52

Prior to the update, the following screenshot shows the previous XenServer version information (Figure 53).

Figure 53

After the update and reboot, the following screenshot shows the current XenServer version information (Figure 54).

Figure 54

The build number changed from 15119p to 25727p, and the build date changed from 2009-06-06 to 2010-01-12.
To update the next pool member, from the menu bar, click Tools and Install New Update… (Figure 55).

Figure 55

Select your next pool member and click Next (Figure 56).

Figure 56

Browse to the update file and click Next (Figure 57).

Figure 57

The update is uploaded to the XenServer pool master (Figure 58).

Figure 58

You will receive an error message (Figure 59).

Figure 59

This error is expected because the update file is always copied to the pool master.  To remove the Update 2 file from the pool master so that it can be uploaded again, dismiss the error message and cancel the update installation wizard.
Click the pool master in the left pane, click the Console tab, click into the black console area and press Enter (Figure 60).

Figure 60

Type in xe patch-list | more and press Enter (Figure 61).

Figure 61

Record the Universally Unique IDentifier  (UUID) for Update 2: a89b352c-8bf3-44ab-8cd7-e13cafef5035.
Note: The Update 2 UUID is always the same.  When additional pool members are being updated, you can remove the update file from the pool master before starting the update process.
Press Ctrl-C, type in xe patch-clean uuid= a89b352c-8bf3-44ab-8cd7-e13cafef5035 and press Enter (Figure 62).

Figure 62

Repeat the Install New Update process for Figures 55 through 58.
Manual update mode is selected and states that the pool member must be rebooted.  Click Finish (Figure 63).

Figure 63

The update is now applied to the pool member (Figure 64).

Figure 64

When the update is fully applied, right-click each running VM on the pool member, click Migrate to Server and then select another pool member to which the VM should be migrated (Figure 65).

Figure 65

Once all running VMs have been migrated from the pool member (Figure 66), right-click the pool member and select Reboot (Figure 67).

Figure 66

Figure 67

After updating all pool members, XenServer Tools must be upgraded in all VMs.  Start a VM and log in to the VM.  In the left pane, click the VM.  From the menu bar, click VM and select Install XenServer Tools (Figure 68).

Figure 68

Click Install XenServer Tools (Figure 69).

Figure 70

Follow the prompts to install XenServer Tools and reboot the VM.
Once all pool members have been updated, VMs may be migrated back to their original hosts (Figure 70).

Figure 70

With this article, you have learned two methods for upgrading XenServer resource pools and successfully upgrading XenCenter, XenServer and XenServer Tools.  After installing this update, you can now create VMs for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.  Now that you can create a VM using Windows Server 2008 R2, you should register for the tech preview of XenApp for Windows Server 2008 R2.

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About Carl Webster

Webster is a Sr. Solutions Architect for Choice Solutions, LLC and specializes in Citrix, Active Directory and Technical Documentation. Webster has been working with Citrix products for many years starting with Multi-User OS/2 in 1990.

View all posts by Carl Webster

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