Alike Backup – Free for XenServer and Hyper-V

For those who have been following my blog for some time know that I’m a big fan of PHD Virtual Backup or at least used to be. I’ve been following PHD since it’s early days. Unfortunately the company has grown to fast and the superb support has disappeared. Doesn’t matter how great the product is if support doesn’t work, especially when it comes to backup. So I reached out on Twitter and got a tip about Alike Backup for XenServer.

I’ve been running Alike Backup side by side with PHD Virtual Backup and have now decided to go with Alike. The best part, it’s FREE for single host server. That’s perfect for me since I have one XenServer and one Hyper-V server.

The setup is straight forward, the difference is that Alike Backup runs inside a OS and PHD Virtual Backup is an appliance.

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Citrix XenServer – Make your network 10x faster

When putting most of your workloads on a Hypervisor you should not take for granted that you automatically get the maximum performance out of the box. You as the administrator need to perform additional tests to verify that the network performance are at it’s best.

Last week I upgraded my Citrix XenServer Home Lab and gained 10x faster network performance. In this blog post I’ll show you how you can run some simple tests to accomplish the same.

So I started testing Network Throughput Using Iperf. The Virtual Machines where 2 vanilla Windows 2008 R2 hosted on Citrix XenServer 5.6 SP2 with all hotfixes applied.

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Troubleshoot Citrix XenServer Network Performance

Last week I was troubleshooting extremely slow network performance on Citrix XenServer 6.02 installed on HP Proliant BL460C G7. The solution was based upon Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1 and Citrix XenApp 6.5 with all hotfixes.

You might ask why not run XenServer 6.1? The customer did a Citrix XenServer Rolling Upgrade to 6.1 and a Provisioning Services Target Device software upgrade.

After the upgrade was completed they where experiencing problems and who would even think that Citrix XenServer 6.1 does NOT support Provisioning Services or XenDesktop. The XenServer Tools Workaround for XenServer 6.1.0 did not work in this environment.

Today Citrix acknowledges that some customers are experiencing intermittent Windows issues with XenTools in the XenServer 6.1 release. Hotfix (XS61E005) for all XenServer 6.1 installations will be released in early January 2013 and support PVS 6.1 (but what about XenDesktop?).

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PHD Virtual Backup 6 – What’s new

This is a sponsored review of the new PHD Virtual Backup 6 for XenServer. I’m a big fan of PHD and are using it personally to backup all my Virtual Machines that are part of With over 55 video modules there’s a lot of VM’s on my XenServer. Needless to say, a disk failure without a proper backup solution would send me back to the stone ages!

If you’re new to PHD Virtual Backup you can check out this video taken from our xenapptraining members area showing you how to import the Virtual Appliance to XenServer and do some basic configuration.

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Citrix XenServer Rolling Upgrade

The Citrix XenServer Rolling upgrade feature was introduced in Citrix XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1. This is a fantastic wizard that will upgrade all your XenServers automatically to the latest version from a central FTP/HTTP or NFS network share. So instead of upgrading hundreds of XenServers manually with DVD/USB you can now use this tool instead.

There’s currently a lot of threads on the Citrix Forum so I thought it would be nice to provide a detailed guide on how to do this with NFS.

First of you’ll need to upgrade Citrix XenCenter to the latest version and setup a NFS share with the extracted content of the latest XenServer-6.0.201-install-cd.iso. To extract ISO files you can use Pismo File Mount or WinRAR.

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PHD Virtual Backup and Exporter

PHD Virtual Backup is a fantastic piece of software that I highly recommend. I’ve been running this backup solution in my xenapptraining lab since June 2011 and it has saved my ass many times. It also made it very easy for me to setup my new lab in Brasil – Citrix XenServer The Optimal Cheap Home Lab.

Since then the PHD Virtual team have added more features and better performance so in this post I’ll show you how to upgrade your PHD Virtual Appliance to the latest version and configure the new PHD Virtual Export feature. If you’re new to PHD Virtual Backup you can check out this video taken from our xenapptraining members area.

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