Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Virtual Iron > XenServer Raw LUN Server Conversion

Several of our Virtual Iron VMs where created without making a virtual storage disk and where mounted as raw LUNs instead. Servers without a virtual storage disk in VI can't be exported via the VI gui.

For this I ran a P2V conversion using XenConvert v2.0.1.

  1. Log into the server needing converted.
  2. Install XenConvert
  3. Remove Virtual Iron Tools and reboot
  4. From "This Machine (machine name)" To "Xen Virtual Appliance"
  5. Select the disk to convert and a location to store the conversion. In order to get this to work I had to map a network drive to the server with a drive of E (C for local disk and D for cdrom). According to the XenConvert guide this is a known issue.
  6. Conversion took a long time on a 20GB drive. This was due to it pulling the drive into a .vhd and then converting the .vhd into XVA.
  7. Import the ova.xml the same as outlined in Virtual Iron > XenServer Conversion

Important: the initial boot of the server was fine, but after a shutdown I began to receive the error "NT Detect Failed" when booting. I was able to fix this by booting to the installation CD and running a repair (R). Once at the prompt I ran chkdsk /r which resolved the issue

Note: I found it extremely important to remove the VI Tools before the conversion. Otherwise a lot of issues would begin on the second boot of the VM.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

XenServer iSCSI SAN Setup/Config

There are 2 ways to setup iSCSI SAN connections in XenServer. Via cli or gui.

Create Bonded connection
  1. Click your Pool
  2. Click a Host
  3. Click NICs tab
  4. Click Create Bond
  5. Add NICs
  6. Create
  7. I then recommend going to Network and naming the bond that shows something understandable
GUI Method
  1. Click Server drop down then Management Interfaces
  2. Click New Interface at the bottom
  3. Name the MI and select the Network NIC
  4. Enter IP information

CLI Method

  1. Open the cli for the server needing connection to the iSCSI SAN
  2. Type "xe pif-list" to get the uuid of the pif you want to alter (note that eth0 is listed at the bottom)
  3. xe pif-reconfigure-ip mode=Static uuid=(enter uuid) ip=IPaddresshere setmask=
  4. xe pif-param-set disallow-unplug=true uuid=(enter uuid)
  5. xe pif-param-set other-config:management_purpose="Storage" uuid=(enter uuid)
  6. At this point you should be able to ping an iSCSI storage node from the server console
  7. Don't make the same mistake I did... remember to give the server node access permissions within your SAN management interface so that it can discover the Target IQN. To find the IQN of the node type simply open the server node properties. On the General tab it is listed at the bottom. Change it to a desired IQN.
  8. Click Storage and select iSCSI
  9. Type in the IP of the Storage server target host
  10. Click discover IQNs then discover LUNs. Click Finish. Note that you will want to ensure that you have exported your VI server prior to connecting to any existing VI LUNs as it will format the disk for XenServer use.

At this point I went on to import the converted VI server onto the disk. Note that initial attempts to import a 19.99GB export onto a 20GB disk failed saying that their wasn't enough space. To get around this I edited the volume to have an additional .5GB. Less than this would have likely been sufficient. I then followed the import steps from Virtual Iron > Citrix XenServer Conversion to successfully import the VM.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Virtual Iron > Citrix XenServer Conversion

With the purchase of Virtual Iron by Oracle we decided to move away from VI/Oracle and into the realm of either MS HyperVisor or Citrix XenServer. This lead us to the need of converting Virtual Iron VM's to XenServer VM's as we tested out Citrix XenServer.

I began by removing the Virtual Iron tools installation and then exporting a test server that was created with a Virtual Iron logical disk (ie boot source of "Disk") to a .vhd format. Download and Open XenConvert v2.0 and convert from VHD to Xen Virtual Appliance format. This will create an ova.xml and related directories for importing into XenServer (you could convert directly into XenServer as well). Open XenServer and select Import > Browse > change file types to "XenServer Virtual Appliance Version 1 (ova.xml) > select the ova.xml file > Select Home Server > Select Storage > Click Import.

A 20 Gig .vhd took approx 20 mins to import and I didn't see a progress bar. Instead when it was completed the option for starting the server became available. Once the VM was started I removed the VI tools and installed the XenServer tools.

I haven't attempted a server that is raw LUN boot (ie boot source of SAN), but will post when I do and whether it's successful or not.

Edit: The import progress bar is displayed on the logs tab.

Note: I found it extremely important to remove the VI Tools before the conversion. Otherwise a lot of issues would begin on the second boot of the VM.