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Xen How-To?


brwd09
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I have been looking around and I can not seem to find a good How-To about how to set up a Xen server. Can anyone point me to a description of how to build, setup and configure a Xen server? I am looking for somnething like the description (from PCDoc I think) of building and setting up a MS HyperV server. I would like to see how the hardware is put together (especially the multiple NICs), how the software is installed, the VMs are created, etc. I am especially not clear on how the administration PC is connected and used. Does that need to be connected through a seperate NIC, or can a single NIC be used and simply place the server on the network?

 

One other thing, is there a difference between Xen from Citrix and Xen from Xen.org? Are these the same thing, or forks from an open source project?

 

Thanks for the help.

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I never found a good one either, but I didn't look to long. The install is pretty simple, just stick the CD in the drive and follow the on screen instructions. But, before you do that, you need to decide what you want to use the server for and therefore what equipment will be needed. Xenserver doesn't like you to add hardware after the install, or at least they don't make it easy for someone like me.

 

RAM will be a key issue, in many cases, even more important than the CPU. Get as much RAM as you can afford, but no less than 8gig. You will need at least two NIC cards, but I would recommend a min of 3. You can use the onboard NIC for the admin console, which is how you will connect to the server from your PC using XenCenter. You can then bind the two other NICs and the load from the VM's will be spread over the two NIC's.

 

I think Xen.org was the original creator and Citrix is who most of the development is coming from now and the one you want to get.

 

Adding VM's is pretty easy also. What I have done is located all my ISO's on a network share that XenServer uses as an ISO repository. You then just tell Xen that the ISO is a CD/DVD in the CD/DVD drive and it will boot from that drive.

 

It's a bit more complicated than what I have written above, but not too much. If you find a good guide, please pass on the link. Someday, I might even write one up. :)

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I never found a good one either, but I didn't look to long. The install is pretty simple, just stick the CD in the drive and follow the on screen instructions. But, before you do that, you need to decide what you want to use the server for and therefore what equipment will be needed. Xenserver doesn't like you to add hardware after the install, or at least they don't make it easy for someone like me.

 

RAM will be a key issue, in many cases, even more important than the CPU. Get as much RAM as you can afford, but no less than 8gig. You will need at least two NIC cards, but I would recommend a min of 3. You can use the onboard NIC for the admin console, which is how you will connect to the server from your PC using XenCenter. You can then bind the two other NICs and the load from the VM's will be spread over the two NIC's.

 

I think Xen.org was the original creator and Citrix is who most of the development is coming from now and the one you want to get.

 

Adding VM's is pretty easy also. What I have done is located all my ISO's on a network share that XenServer uses as an ISO repository. You then just tell Xen that the ISO is a CD/DVD in the CD/DVD drive and it will boot from that drive.

 

It's a bit more complicated than what I have written above, but not too much. If you find a good guide, please pass on the link. Someday, I might even write one up. :)

 

Thanks for the response. I looked into the Citrix Xen and it does look very good. However, it requires a 64 bit CPU. I was planning to repurpose the machine that I have been using as my V1 WHS which is an Intel Celeron 2 Gig with 2 Gig of ram. I know that is pretty underpowered, but right now I am doing this as a learning experiance (read "to play"). I was thinking that I would try to run WHS V1 and pfSense on that machine if possible. But since Citrix requires a 64 bit CPU I guess I can not do that.

 

I have been able to run the open source Live CD of Xen on this machine and it work fine. It boots up Dom0, one client and one sewrver and idles at about 40% CPU. So I am considering running that, but the only way to download it is as a tar ball and I don't know how to take that and create an iso out of it.

 

So another thought would be to run WHS on this box again and load Virtual Box on it and try pfSense on that. Would that work? Can I run the router on the server like that? Would the routing inside my network work if set up that way?

 

Lastly, can you explain how the NICs are setup with the Citrix Xen? With multiple NICs, are they all plugged into the same switch, or do you need to run the admin console off of a different switch? And if pfSense is running on that same machine, do you have a seperate NIC going directly to your cable modem or DSL router?

 

One more thing, I will not be using the WHS for storage. I had a lot of problems with it and my IDE drives and instead have built an unRAID server that I am using for storage. Is there a way to use that with WHS V1? Would the WHS see it as a single drive and at it to its own pool as an external drive? I think the only way that I want to use the unRAID box with WHS is to store the backups. I will only use the WHS for backups and remote access. I will keep all storage on unRAID and then back it up off site with CrashPlan.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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