Another one of our support experts who’ll be presenting at Citrix TechEdge 2010 is Daniel Lazar. Daniel is a member of the XenServer Escalation team handling complex and highly sensitive customer issues relating to XenServer and several of the bundled Essentials products.  He began his tenure at Citrix two years ago as an Escalation Engineer supporting Citrix Provisioning Server and recently changed product focus to learn and master XenServer as well.  Prior to joining Citrix, Daniel spent three years with eWebHealth, Inc.

Daniel Lazar
Lead Escalation Engineer for XenServer
Daniel let us know how XenServer has improved from a support point of view as well as what his focus will be during his session at Citrix TechEdge during Citrix Summit and Citrix Synergy 2010: XenServer Storage management and troubleshooting.

Q. How has XenServer improved and/or how are you able to troubleshoot an issue more quickly from a support perspective this year?
Daniel: Development against XenServer is a constant and ongoing process.  With enhancements to many of the core components of XenServer in version 5.5 it has become easier to implement and maintain a XenServer pool.  The addition of snapshots in XenCenter and the move to LVHD has made working with virtual machine storage in XenServer far more seamless and flexible than it has been in the past.  These improvements translate into easier troubleshooting since we are now dealing with a consistent presentation of the storage from within XenServer which removes complexity when determining root cause for a storage-related problem.

Q. What XenServer storage management tips will attendees learn at your session this year? Daniel: Attendees will not only learn how to describe their storage environment from the perspective of a XenServer host they will also gain some tools and processes to measure and monitor storage performance, and pick up a few troubleshooting tips to address storage issues that are common in the field.   

Q. What’s the most interesting case you’ve worked on this past year? Why?
Daniel: I would say the most interesting case I have had this year has been one involving a customer who was failing to attach their SR after applying a XenServer update.  As it turned out, the information required to connect the SR had been corrupted during the upgrade, but the physical storage was still accessible to the underlying Linux kernel.  It took a lot of research and trial and error testing, but I figured out how to recover the VMs from that SR by doing low-level block-by-block copying of the VHD data off the failed storage and over to a functional SR to correct the issue.  It was most interesting because it exposed much of the lower-level storage architecture and allowed me to learn how that piece works “under the hood”.  Every now and then I get a case like that, especially with XenServer, where I need to go out of the comfort zone of what I know and understand and go into territory that is completely new and different.  It is one of the more challenging qualities of supporting a platform as opposed to a single application.

Q: When you’re not working how do you spend your free time?  
Daniel: I have a 2-year-old son who doesn’t let me have hobbies most of the time.    Joking aside, I love being outdoors, especially when it is sunny and warm (seasonal luxury where I live in Chelmsford, Mass).  And, I do love to play my guitar when time permits.

More Technical Training – Hands on Learning Labs at Synergy
This year at Synergy (Wednesday, May 12 – Friday, May 14), the Hands on Learning Labs are free to all Summit and Synergy attendees!  This event has been expanded and enhanced. Now there are even more labs to choose from for technical training in XenDesktop, XenServer, XenApp and NetScaler. Citrix has increased capacity from 600 seats to 3,000 to give Synergy attendees the in-depth, IT training they need. Visit the Hands on Learning Labs page to learn more. 

Learn more about TechEdge 2010,

TechEdge class schedule and descriptions

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Let Daniel know any thoughts, questions or feedback you might have for his session.

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TechEdge Close-up – Interview with Jamie Baker

Join us at TechEdge 2010 – Troubleshooting Tools, Methodologies