In many of todays data centers you will commonly find hypervisors from multiple vendors used in parallel because of various reasons. Typical candidates are the hypervisors from vmware, Microsoft or Citrix and -in rare cases- RedHat (KVM).
The challenge with these kinds of heterogeneous environments is the management (i.e. operational procedures, maintenance, support). To allow efficient processes it is necessary to leverage a management platform that is common across the various technologies. With the upcoming new 2012 version of Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager, SCVMM will be able to manage hypervisors from other vendors as well. As Microsoft and Citrix maintain close and longstanding relationship (see http://www.v-alliance.com for further information) Citrix XenServer is one of the platforms that can be managed by SCVMM.
The intention of this blog, which is a joint effort between Michel Lüscher (Consultant Datacenter – Windows Server and Virtualization) from Microsoft Consulting in Switzerland and myself, is to give you an initial idea about what’s coming in the near future. (The german version of this article can be found here)
Important: Please note that this article refers to the public beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 and the XenServer Supplemental Pack only. The RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version might have a different features and functionalities!
SCVMM management functionalities
SCVMM will be able to perform the following tasks on XenServer hosts.
- VM Deployment
- VM Template and Services Deployment
- Intelligent Placement (Host Rating)
- Support for PV and HVM Virtual Machines
- VMM Templates (not XenServer Templates)
- VM Migration
- XenMotion (within the attached Resource Pool)
- LAN Migration between XenServer and the VMM Library
- No V2V (use P2V instead)
- Host Management
- Dynamic Optimization
- Power Optimization
- Maintenance Mode
- Support for all kinds of XenServer Repositories
- OOB Integration
- Support for logical networks
SCVMM 2012 will support the following versions of XenServer:
- Citrix XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1
- Citrix XenServer 5.6 SP2
- Citrix XenServer “Boston”
Microsoft is committed to constantly work on the XenServer support side, to ensure post-„Boston“ releases of XenServer can be managed by SCVMM shortly after their public appearance. Based on the close partnership Citrix supports this effort by providing the Microsoft engineering teams with early releases of XenServer as soon as they become available.
Note: Citrix XenServer 5.6 will be supported in the beta version only. When the final version of SCVMM 2012 RTM “Boston” will be the only supported XenServer version. This is due to changes in the core platform of XenServer and its dependencies with SCVMM,
Citrix XenServer Supplemental Pack
To allow Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager managing a XenServer or XenServer Resource Pool, it is necessary to install the “SCVMM Integration Suite Supplemental Pack” within the Dom0 of the respective XenServer(s). Please note that the provided supplemental pack is compatible with XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 or higher only.
The installation of the supplemental pack can to be done using two different ways. The more complex way (which is required for existing XenServers) is leveraging the XenServer CLI and requires root permissions.
1. Download and mount the installation ISO:
# mkdir /tmp/scvmm
# cd /tmp
# wget http://downloadns.citrix.com.edgesuite.net/akdlm/5622/scvmm-beta-integration.iso
# mount -o loop /tmp/scvmm-beta-integration.iso /tmp/scvmm
2. Install the components:
# cd /tmp/scvmm
# cd xs#xenserver-integration-suite
# cd ../xs#xenserver-transfer-vm
# cd /
3. Clean up.
# umount /tmp/scvmm
# rmdir /tmp/scvmm
# rm /tmp/ scvmm-beta-integration.iso
The easier way of installing the supplemental pack is during the initial XenServer setup. During the installation procedure the wizards asks if further supplemental packs should be installed. All you need to do is to insert the Supplemental Pack CD (or ISO) and follow the on-screen instructions.
Integrating Citrix XenServer into SCVMM
After the installation completed successfully we need to switch to the SCVMM Admin Console for the final preparatory work. The first step is to create a “Run As Account” within the “Create Run As Account Wizard”, as shown on the screenshot below (Settings Workspace ⇒ Security ⇒ Create Run As Account (Ribbon)):
The next step is to actually integrate the XenServer with SCVMM. This is done using the following wizard: “Fabric Workspace ⇒ Servers ⇒ Add Resources (Ribbon) ⇒ Citrix XenServer Hosts and Clusters”, as shown on the screenshot below:
Now the XenServer should be listed as a available resource within the “Fabric Workspace”, as shown below:
In case the integration of XenServer into SCVMM is not successful, check the following items:
- Is DNS functional and can all relevant servers be resolved?
- Is the XenServer Certificate valid and does it correspond with the computer name specified? (Click on “View Certificate” within the wizard)
- Can SCVMM connect to the XenServer? Run the following command on your SCVMM server to check (replace XenServer name, user name and password accordingly):
C:\> winrm enum http://schemas.citrix.com/wbem/wscim/1/cim-schema/2/Xen_HostComputerSystem -r:https://MyXenServer:5989 -encoding:utf-8 -a:basic -u:”root” -p:”MyPassword” -skipcacheck -skipcncheck
- The CN field and the ElementName in the result of this command have to match exactly. The exact value of these fields must be specified as the computer name when adding the Citrix XenServer host.