Friday, November 25, 2011

XenServer Virtual Lab (Part 1) : Introduction

This is a first part of a series of posts here where I will create a Virtual Lab for a XenServer 5.6.
The only purpose of this exercise is to summarize, consolidate and practice the knowledge and skills. Nothing else. It is just a scratch book, a diary. Do not attempt to use it as a guide to build a production solution. It will not work ;)

What we will need:
- Linux box (I use Fedora 16) with KVM installed
- Linux (I will use RHEL6) VM for NFS, iSCSI target, NTP server
   [RAM 512MB, DISKS: 4GB(OS) + 20GB(XEN-LUN) + 20GB(XEN-NFS)]
- Windows 2008 R2 for XenCenter, License Server, AD, DNS, DHCP
   [RAM 512MB, DISKS: 20GB(OS)]
- 2x XenServer VMs
   [RAM 1024GB, DISKS: 16GB(OS)+10GB(VM)]

You can give your virtual machines more resources of course if you have. I have a limited RAM for instance in my system, so unfortunately I cannot use more and the performance plays no role here as this lab will be deleted in few days anyway, so that is why I used so low resources for my VMs.

So, what is the plan:
- Configure required virtual networks on KVM
- Install RHEL6 VM
- Configure NTP
- Install Windows 2008 VM
- Configure AD, DNS, DHCP
- Install XenCenter and License Server
- Install XenServer VMs
- Add XenServer VMs to XenCenter
- ...

I will try to use mostly screenshots as I believe picture tells much more that hundreds of words. This will be a work in progress, so expect that there will be changes in those post as I move further with my exercise.
ISO images can be downloaded from For Linux VMs you can use a distribution of your choice as long as it contains packages for iSCSI target. For a Windows VM you can use a trial version which can be downloaded from

:: XenServer Virtual Lab (Part 1) : Introduction
:: XenServer Virtual Lab (Part 2) : KVM Virtual Networks