How To Install and Configure Citrix XenServer 7.0 and XenCenter

In this article I will show you how to install and configure citrix XenServer 7.0. I will also show you how to install and use XenCenter to configure XenServer and provision virtual machines.

Below is a video I created on youtube which shows you all the steps in this guide

Introduction To Citrix XenServer 7.0

In case you did not know Citrix XenServer is a virtualization platform which runs on a custom build version of linux which was developed by citrix. Using this platform you can run many instances of virtual machines on a single hardware instance. Citrix XenServer enables company’s of any size to consolidate and reduce there foot print of physical servers as well as ensuring a seamless pathway for moving workloads to the cloud. You can read the Citrix XenServer 7.0 release notes here.

Pre-Install Tasks – Before we install XenServer 7.0 we need to check a few things

  • A Intel VT or AMD-V 64-bit x86-based processor is required
  • If you plan to run windows virtual machines you need to enable Intel VT or AMD-V hardware virtualization technology in the computers BIOS
  • You can check the Citrix XenServer hardware compatibility list by going to here
  • Download the install media, go to here and click on XenServer 7.0 > XenServer 7.0 Standard Edition > Click on XenServer 7.0 Base Installation ISO.  Now you have the ISO burn it to a CD.

Installing Citrix XenServer 7.0

Now we have the install CD insert it in to the machine and boot to the CD.  If the machine you want to install to does not have a CD / DVD drive you can create a bootable install USB drive by using the application UNetbootin.

Your machine will boot to the below screen, Press the enter key to begin the install.

Install and Configure Citrix XenServer 7

The install will now begin. On the below screen highlight your keyboard and hit enter

xenserver-install-keyboard

Now as per below the installer will remind you that the install will erase all data on the disks, Make sure you don’t need any data on the computer you are installing XenServer on to. Select Ok and hit enter.

xenserver-install-wipe

Next you will need to accept the citrix license agreement. Highlight Accept EULA and hit enter.

accept-citrix-license

If you get the below screen this is because Intel VT or AMD-V hardware virtualization technology has not been enabled in your systems BIOS,  You may continue with the install and enable this feature in your BIOS after.  Click on OK.

citrix-xenserver-system-hardware

On the next screen shown below you will be asked which storage you want to place your virtual machines on, Select the storage you want by pressing the space bar and make sure a * is displayed next to the disks you want to use, Now press tab and select “Enable thin provisioning” Then select OK and hit enter.

xenserver-storage

Select Local media and hit ok.

install-source

When asked if you would like to install any supplemental packs select no and hit enter.

supplemental-pack

On the verify install screen I always skip verification. Click ok

verify install

Next enter a password you want to use to use as the admin password to access the XenServer. Enter the password twice then select ok.

xenserver-password

Now select the interface you want to use for the management interface, This is the interface we set the IP to. Select OK

xenserver-management-interface

On the screen below you can select either DHCP or you can set a static ip address.  Setting a static IP address is preferred.  Select OK

xenserver-set-ip

Now enter a host name for your xenserver and set the dns servers. Select OK

xenserver-hostname

Select your timezone and click ok.

xenserver-time-zone

I recommend using an NTP server. Select the option you prefer and hit ok

xenserver-ntp-settings

If you are using NTP servers I recommend to use the NTP server on your active directory servers. Below I am using NTP servers I found on the internet. Select OK

xenserver-ntp-servers

We are now ready to start the Citrix XenServer 7.0 install.  Select Install XenServer and hit enter.

install-xenserver-7-start

As per below the install will now start and it will show you a progress bar.

install-xenserver-7-installing

When the installation is complete remove the Citrix XenServer 7.0 install media from your machine and hit ok.

installation-complete

Citrix XenServer will now reboot.

xenserver-7-booting

Below is a screenshot of the XenServer 7 main menu

xenserver-7-main-menu

When Citrix XenServer 7.0 has finished installing the first thing I do it to check the network.  From the main menu click on “Network and Management Interface” > “Test Network” > “Ping Network address” Make sure you get the message “Ping successful” as shown below.  If the ping fails double check the IP you set and also check the network cable.

xenserver-7-ping-gw

Now we have finished the Citrix XenServer 7.0 Install and have confirmed the network is working correctly we can now connect to the XenServer with XenCenter to configure the system.

Configuring Citrix XenServer 7.0 With Citrix XenCenter

We can now configure Citrix Xenserver 7.0 via Citrix XenCenter.  First thing we need to do is download and install Citrix XenCenter on your desktop machine.  Open up an internet browser and go to http://%IP_of_XenServer% and click on “XenCenter installer” download the file and install the Citrix XenCenter application. Once Installed open the application, then click on “Add New Server”

citrix-xencenter-add-server

Next enter the IP address of your citrix xenserver 7.0 and password and hit add.

citrix-xencenter-logon

You will now see your xenserver in the list on the left hand side.

citrix-xencenter-main-menu

The first thing I like to do is to configure the network.  Click on the networking tab and you will see all the NICs on your xenserver.  If the server only has 1 NIC skip this step.  If the xenserver is going to be used in a production environment it is a good idea to team / bond the NICS.

We are now going to move the management NIC on to a bonded NIC connection. Click add network, select bonded network, click next, Tick the boxes for the NICs that you want to include in this bond including the NIC where the management interface is then click on finish.

citrix-xencenter-bond-nics

From the screen shot below you can see that Network 0 + Network 1 have now been merged in to a bonded network called “Bond 0+1” Now I usually change the name of this bonded NIC so its clear what these NICs are for.  Highlight Bond 0+1 and select properties, then change the name to something that describes this bonded network, Below I have named it “Management Interface”

citrix-xencenter-bond-management

Now bond the rest of the NICS in your xenserver and name the bonded nic accordingly.

citrix-xencenter-bond-networks

If you need to Vlan tag your network connection, click on add network > External Network > Give a name for this new NIC connection click Next

citrix-xencenter-vlan-networks

Now select the correct bonded Nic and enter a VLAN number then click on finish

citrix-xencenter-vlan-networks2

The connection we created will now appear in the network connection list.

citrix-xencenter-vlan-networks3

To create a new virtual machine click on “New VM” Select the OS you wish to install and click next. Give the virtual machine a name and click next. Select where the install media will be and click next. Select the xenserver you wish to create the virtual machine on and click next. Select how many CPUs you want and memory then click next. Next, Add the amount of storage you want and click next, add the required network connection click next then finish.

xenserver-new-vm

 

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