Installing Citrix XenServer On VMware vSphere

With the recent RC2 release of XenClient I have have to say that Citrix have piqued my interest. Alas though, I do not have the supported hardware for XenClient or a spare box to install XenServer on. I’ll just have to make do with installing XenServer on VMware vSphere for the time being …

I found that both XenServer 5.5 and 5.6 installed with the following virtual machine settings on vSphere:

  • Select Virtual Machine Version 7
  • Click the Linux Guest OS radio button and then select Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (64 bit)
  • Leave the number of virtual processors at 1
  • Allocate at least 1Gb of Memory
  • Connect 1 virtual NIC
  • Leave the LSI Logic Parallel SCSI controller selected
  • Create a new (thin provisioned) disk with at least 30Gb of space- I created a 50Gb disk
  • Edit the virtual machine settings and select the XenClient .iso and check the Connect at power on checkbox

I simply booted the virtual machine and accepted the XenServer defaults – ignoring the warning that hardware virtualization assist was not available (this did not prevent XenServer from installing).

I downloaded XenCenter and installed it on my Windows 7 machine and found that it is a rather nice management interface for XenServer.

I also downloaded the XenClient Synchronizer appliance and installed in on XenServer and found that I could not reach it over the network, which was a shame. Of course XenServer was slow as it was running ontop of another hypervisor – but it is a nice way to at least get familiar with the interface and look at the features that are available.

I’m not ready to switch hypervisor yet as I have crammed quite a few VMs onto vSphere and am enjoying the benefits of its memory management, but perhaps something like XenClient might tempt me away in the future, who knows?

Sources: Virtual Pro

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