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Old 04-25-2011, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default Installing Xenserver

Xenserver is an operating system that you can install on any desktop PC / Server and run virtual machines from. In this guide I will show you how to easily install xenserver on to your computer.

Planning Installing Xenserver

Before you start installing xenserver there are a few things you need to consider

Enable Virtualisation In BIOS

First thing you need to check is if your system supports virtualisation. Go in to your BIOS and enable "Intel VT" If you have an Intel processor, or enable "AMD V" is you have an AMD processor.

Hardware Considerations

Before you go installing xenserver you need to think about the hardware in your system.

Memory - This is probally the easiest thing to think about. You can assign as little or as much memory per virtual machine as you wish. Think about how many virtual machines you want to run and how much memory you wish to give each virtual machine. Add up the memory from each virtual machines then add 2gb which will be used for the xenserver operating system. Its alway a good idea to add as much memory as you can because if you want to add more memory after you have installed xenserver you will need down time for all your virtual machines which might be an issue if this xenserver is hosting production virtual machines

Hard-Disk - As with the memory add up how much disk space you require and then make sure you have about 100gig free. If you wish to run snapshots/backups you will need the space. Disk speed is important, as you are running many virtual machines it is possible the disk speed might be the bottle neck of your system. I would recommend installing as many disks in your system as you can and then raid 5 them. This way you will get speed and redundancy. Download this app Roadkil Disk Speed – test with breakdown by block size | Rarst.net and run it on a windows virtual machine to get an idea of your disk speed. Then in the future if you do get performance problems in the future run the tool again and compaire the results.

Processor - Your processor needs to support virtualisation technology. I also recommend buying a processor with the most cores you can afford. The cores on the processor can be split up and allocated to virtual machines. Add 2 or more processors if possible

Installing Xenserver

Step 1 - Download the xenserver base instillation ISO from the citrix website http://www.citrix.com/English/ss/dow...oductID=683148 If you wish to install linux virtual machines you will need to download the xenserver Linux Pack. If you are only going to run windows machines only download the base pack.

Step 2 - Burn the downloaded ISOs to CD. If you are using windows 7 you can simply right click on the ISO and select burn. If you are not using windows 7 you will need to use a 3rd party app.

Step 3 - Insert the Xenserver base installation CD in to your system and boot to the CD. On the first screen (Pic1) hit enter when prompted


Step 4 - Select your keyboard layout and hit enter (Pic2)


Step 5 - Select "Install or Upgrade Xenserver Host" (Pic 3)


Step 6 - Warning all data on your hard-drive will now be wiped, hit enter to confirm this is ok.

Step 7 - Accept the license agreement

Step 8 - Enter a password twice, then hit enter (Pic4)


Step 9 - Enter your IP details. I recommend using static but use DHCP if you wish. (Pic5)


Step 10 - Enter your DNS settings (Pic6)


Step 11 - Enter your regional settings

Step 12 - Confirm you want to install xenserver, This process will wipe everyting that might be stored on your hard-disk. If you are ok to proced select "Installing Xenserver" (Pic7)


Step 13 - After the installing has finished hit enter to restart your system.

Step 14 - If you want to run linux virtual machines insert the xenserver linux CD in to your system and boot to the CD and follow the prompts, then restart your system.

Step 15 - Once Xenserver has booted you should see a screen like the one below (Pic8). To access your xenserver and configure / setup your virtual machines you will need to install citrix xencentre (Shown in the next article "Configuring Xenserver")

Pic 8

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Old 04-27-2011, 06:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Installing Xenserver

Great - Thanks for the guide JCB. I've wanted play around with XenServer for a while.

What kind of hardware would you need to run 3-4 VM's (say... debian) with around 384MB RAM? Obviously it depends what kind of CPU you have, and what you're doing with the VM's - but as a rough guide...?

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Old 04-27-2011, 04:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Installing Xenserver

If the vms will use very little resources id say you could get away with a dual core processor processor @ 2gb with 512mb for each vm and then 1gb for the host.

If you expect the VMs to use a lot of resources I would say a quad core processor @ 2.5gb
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