• Learning the Basics of Citrix XenApp 5 Feature Pack 3 for Windows Server 2003 and XenServer 5.6 Part 2 of 12

    Install and Configure XenServer 5.6

    In Part 1, you learned how to:

    1. Create a MyCitrix.com account,
    2. Download a copy of XenServer 5.6,
    3. Download an evaluation copy of XenApp 5 Feature Pack 2,
    4. Download the XenApp 5 Feature Pack 3 files, and
    5. Download a new license file for XenApp 5.

    In this Part, you will learn how to:

    1. Install XenServer 5.6,
    2. Install XenCenter 5.6,
    3. Activate XenServer, and then
    4. Do some optional configuration of XenServer.

    XenServer is an enterprise-class and cloud-proven server virtualization platform that delivers features such as live migration of Virtual Machines and centralized multi-server management for FREE.  XenServer hosts are managed through XenCenter.  Simon Crosby, the CTO of Citrix, is famous for his saying of “Ten to Xen”.  Meaning you should be able to have XenServer installed and ready for use in ten minutes or less.  I have installed XenServer many times in my lab and it has never taken more than ten minutes.

    Burn XenServer 5.6 CD

    When you completed Part 1, you had downloaded the XenServer 5.6 ISO file.  XenServer can be installed a variety of ways but for the purposes of this article, XenServer will be burned onto a CD for installation.  You can use your favorite ISO burner to burn the XenServer image to a CD.  I will be using Windows 7’s built-in ISO burner.

    Right-click the XenServer 5.6 ISO file and select Open with -> Windows Disc Image Burner (Figure 2-1).

    Figure 2‑1

    Insert a blank CD into the required drive and click Burn (Figure 2-2).

    Figure 2‑2

    Wait while the disc imaged is burned (Figure 2-3).

    Figure 2‑3

    When the disc image burning is complete, click Close (Figure 2-4).

    Figure 2‑4

    Remove the new XenServer 5.6 boot CD and insert it into the CD drive of your soon-to-be XenServer.

    Installing XenServer

    You will need to predetermine several pieces of information before installing XenServer:

    1. The password for the root user account.
    2. If you have multiple network interfaces in your XenServer, the MAC address of each interface.
    3. The IP address, subnet mask and default gateway for the management interface.
    4. The IP address and subnet mask for the second interface.
    5. The name to assign to your XenServer.
    6. The IP address for DNS.
    7. If using Network Time Protocol, the host name or IP address of the NTP server.

    Note:  Most recent servers have two or more gigabit Ethernet NICs embedded on the motherboard.  You can take advantage by using one NIC for XenCenter to XenServer management traffic and another NIC for Virtual Machine traffic.  More advanced XenServer installations may also have NICs dedicated to storage and backup traffic.

    The physical box for my XenServer host has two network interfaces.  XenServer uses the Linux convention of naming the first network interface eth0, the second eth1 and so forth.  For my server, eth0 will be the management interface and eth1 will be used for the Virtual Machine (VM) traffic.

    Network Configuration Information

    Interface Name MAC Address IP Address Subnet Mask Default Gateway
    eth0 00-e0-81-c0-af-66
    eth1 00-e0-81-c0-af-67 N/A
    Server Name XenServer1
    NTP Server 0.north-america.pool.ntp.org

    Note:  XenServer is a bare-metal hypervisor.  This means it runs directly on the host’s hardware and controls all the hardware components on the host.  I am using SecureCRT from VanDyke Software (http://www.vandyke.com/products/securecrt/) to enable screen shots of the XenServer installation from my Windows 7 writing station.

    Boot up your XenServer host with the XenServer 5.6 CD.  After the initial power-on and boot-up sequence, the XenServer 5.6 installation begins.  Since I am in the Central time zone in North America, I will be selecting the relevant options.  You will need to select the settings appropriate for where you live.

    Select your Keymap and select OK (Figure 2-5).

    Figure 2‑5

    Select OK to allow the XenServer installation process to remove all partitions and destroy all data on your hard drive (Figure 2-6).

    Figure 2‑6

    Select Accept EULA to continue with the installation (Figure 2-7).

    Figure 2‑7

    Select Local media and select OK (Figure 2-8).

    Figure 2‑8

    Select No on installing any Supplemental Packs (Figure 2-9).

    Figure 2‑9

    Select Skip verification and select OK (Figure 2-10).

    Figure 2‑10

    The root account has unlimited access and privileges on the XenServer host.  If this account is compromised, your server can be damaged beyond repair and may require a complete reinstall.

    Enter and verify the password for the root account and select OK (Figure 2-11).

    Figure 2‑11

    Select which network interface to use for management traffic and select OK (Figure 2-12).

    Figure 2‑12

    Select Static configuration, enter the necessary IP and select OK (Figure 2-13).

    Figure 2‑13

    Enter the Hostname, the IP address for at least DNS Server 1 and select OK (Figure 2-14).

    Figure 2‑14

    Select the geographical area for your Time Zone and select OK (Figure 2-15).

    Figure 2‑15

    Select the city closest to you for your time zone and select OK (Figure 2-16).

    Figure 2‑16

    Select Using NTP and select OK (Figure 2-17).

    Figure 2‑17

    Enter the information for at least NTP Server 1 and select OK (Figure 2-18).

    Figure 2‑18

    Select Install XenServer (Figure 2-19).

    Figure 2‑19

    The XenServer installation proceeds (Figure 2-20).

    Figure 2‑20

    When the XenServer installation is complete, remove the CD from the CD drive and select OK (Figure 2-21).

    Figure 2‑21


    Install XenCenter

    As the XenServer reboots, XenCenter needs to be installed.  Insert the XenServer CD into your management PC and the XenCenter Setup Wizard begins (Figure 2-22).  Click Next.

    Figure 2‑22

    Select whether to install XenCenter for all users on your management PC or just you and click Next (Figure 2-23).

    Figure 2‑23

    Click Install (Figure 2-24).

    Figure 2‑24

    When the XenCenter setup wizard completes, click Finish (Figure 2-25).

    Figure 2‑25

    Double-click the Citrix XenCenter icon on your desktop (Figure 2-26).

    Figure 2‑26

    Add XenServer Host to XenCenter

    XenCenter starts up.  Click the Add a server button (Figure 2-27).

    Figure 2‑27

    Enter the IP address of your XenServer, the password for the root account and click Add (Figure 2-28).

    Figure 2‑28

    Your XenServer host is added to the XenCenter console (Figure 2-29).

    Figure 2‑29

    To retrieve a license and activate XenServer, click Tools -> License Manager… (Figure 2-30).

    Figure 2‑30

    The XenServer License Manager appears (Figure 2-31).  Notice there are only 29 days left before XenServer will expire.

    Figure 2‑31


    Activate XenServer

    Select your XenServer, click the Activate Free XenServer dropdown and then select Request Activation Key… (Figure 2-32).  This will open a new browser window.

    Figure 2‑32

    You are taken to the Citrix XenServer Activation web form.  Fill in the required information, agree to comply with the Export Control Laws and click Request Activation (Figure 2-33).

    Figure 2‑33

    Check your e-mail for the XenServer license file (Figure 2-34).  You can exit the activation form browser window.

    Figure 2‑34

    Save the XenServer license file to a location accessible by XenCenter (Figure 2-35).

    Figure 2‑35

    Select your XenServer, click the Activate Free XenServer dropdown and then select Apply Activation Key… (Figure 2-36).

    Figure 2‑36

    Browse to the XenServer license file, select it and click Open (Figure 2-37).

    Figure 2‑37

    The license file is applied (Figure 2-38).

    Figure 2‑38

    You will see that the time left before needing another free XenServer license is now one year (Figure 2-39).

    Figure 2‑39

    Close the License Manager.

    Optional XenServer Configuration

    If you have multiple NICs in your XenServer host, you have the option of dedicating a NIC for VM traffic.

    The second network interface, eth1, on the XenServer needs to be configured.  Select XenServer1 in the Server View and click the Console tab (Figure 2-40).

    Figure 2‑40

    Click on the black XenServer1 server console area and press Enter (Figure 2-41).

    Figure 2‑41

    From the command shell, type in:

    ifconfig eth1 netmask and press Enter (Figure 2-42).

    This command sets the IP address and subnet mask for the second network interface eth1.

    Figure 2‑42

    To verify that eth1 was configured properly and the network interface works, open a command prompt on your management PC and type in:

    Ping and press Enter (Figure 2-43).

    Figure 2‑43

    Since eth0 will be used for XenServer management traffic, there is no need for it to be added to any VM that is created.  To prevent eth0 from being added to new VMs, click XenServer1 in the Server View and click the Network tab (Figure 2-44).

    Figure 2‑44

    Click on Network 0 and click Properties (Figure 2-45).

    Figure 2‑45

    Click Network Settings (Figure 2-46).

    Figure 2‑46

    Uncheck the box next to Automatically add this network to new virtual machines and click OK (Figure 2-47).

    Figure 2‑47

    In this Part, you have successfully:

    1. Installed XenServer,
    2. Installed XenCenter,
    3. Added your XenServer host to XenCenter,
    4. Activated XenServer, and then
    5. Performed additional optional configuration steps.

    In Part 3, you will learn to create a Virtual Machine optimized for XenApp and install Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x86.


    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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