I’ve just recently moved to Brazil and for this reason I needed to build a new Citrix XenServer lab and restore all my Virtual Machines used in my xenapptraining.com course. Rebuilding the environment was not a option. So in this post I’ll describe my new hardware and how I managed to completely replicate the environment.
Citrix XenServer 5.6SP2 Hardware 2011 Edition :
I purchased all the hardware in Norway except from the case that I bought here in Brazil. Be aware that I also bought an extra Intel network card as a backup in case I had problems with the network card on the motherboard. The issues with Realtek RTL8111/8186B is now solved with Citrix XenServer 5.6SP2 and 6.0.
So the total cost without case and network card turned out to be only $514,96. Pretty sweet for a 6 core – 16GB memory system. If you would like to boost the overall performance you could replace the SATA disk with a faster SSD disk. I prefer space before speed.
- ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Socket-AM3
- AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
- Intel Pro/1000GT Desktop Adapter
- Corsair Dominator DHX DDR3 1333MHz 16GB
- Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB
Asus BIOS Configuration :
- Disable Cool ‘n’ Quiet
- Enable Core Unlocker
- Enable Hyper Threading
I’ve been running the awesome software PHD Virtual Backup for some time so I simply transferred the backup catalog to my laptop, packed my suitcase and went to Brazil.
Citrix XenServer 6.1 Hardware 2013 Edition :
- Intel Desktop Board DH67CL
- Intel Core i5 2400 3.1GHZ 4 cores
- Kingston ValueRAM 32 GB : 4 x 8 GB
- Kingston SSDNow V200 64GB – OS disk
- Kingston SSDNow V200 256GB – Data disk
- Segate Barracuda LP 5900.3 2TB – Data / Backup disk
Citrix XenServer Installation :
After I purchased the case in Brazil I needed to create a bootable USB stick to install Citrix XenServer. Back in the days we normally used Unetbootin for this, but this tool doesn’t work anymore with the latest releases of Citrix XenServer. This is how to create a bootable USB key with XenServer.
- Format the USB key with Fat32
- Download the latest copy of syslinux and extract it
- Open a command prompt and change directory to your extracted syslinux\win32/64 folder
- Run syslinux.exe X: – replacing “X” with the drive letter of your USB key
- Extract the Citrix XenServer ISO. To mount it you can use Pismo File Mount
- Copy the content of the extracted XenServer ISO folder to the root of the USB
- On the USB drive, copy the content of the \boot\isolinux folder to the root of the USB
- Copy mboot.c32 to root of the USB (SysLinux 4.x)
- At the root of USB drive, rename the isolinux.cfg file to syslinux.cfg
- At the root of USB drive, rename the isolinux.bin file to syslinux.bin
I started this project trying out the new Citrix XenServer 6.0 (How to install Citrix XenServer 6.0). There seems to be a bug with DYI hardware since the console on each VM was booting like slow motion, so I ended up installing XenServer 5.6 SP2.
Update 15.11.2012 :
Same problem with XenServer 6.02 with the latest hotfixes and Asus Bios configuration. Wouldn’t recommend XenServer 6.1 at this moment since it doesn’t support XenDesktop or Provisioning Services 6.1.
I imported and configured the PHD Virtual Backup for Citrix XenServer appliance and shared my backup folder from my local computer. In the beginning I had some problems getting access so I contacted support who quickly responded to my support ticket.
Turns out that you cannot have non-ASCII characters (ie. #,$,%….) in the password and PHD requires both Share and NTFS Full Control permissions. The restore is straight forward and only took a couple of hours.
Your System :
I would like YOU to share your home lab environment either it’s a DIY system or a HCL Citrix XenServer supported vendor in the comments below.