Managing Citrix XenServer Overview
Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager
Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) enables you to deploy and manage virtual machines and services across multiple hypervisors, including Citrix XenServer hosts. Through VMM, you can manage the day-to-day operations of XenServer hosts and XenServer pools. These operations include the discovery and management of XenServer hosts and pools, and the ability to create, manage, store, place and deploy virtual machines and services on XenServer hosts. Managing XenServer hosts through VMM also gives you more choice with regard to Linux-based guest operating systems than if you were only managing Hyper-V.
In addition, VMM enables you to make resources from Hyper-V, XenServer and VMware ESX hosts available to private cloud deployments, all from a common user interface and common command-line interface (CLI).
The computers that you want to add as XenServer hosts must meet the requirements that are outlined as follows:
For VMM in System Center 2012 or System Center 2012 SP1, see: System Requirements: Citrix XenServer Hosts in System Center 2012 and in System Center 2012 SP1.
For VMM in System Center 2012 R2, see: Preparing your environment for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager.
Through VMM, the XenServer hosts are directly managed. Therefore, there is no interaction between the VMM management server and the Citrix XenCenter server.
Make sure that the following additional requirements are met:
You must have a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server available to automatically assign IP addresses for Citrix TransferVMs. The addresses that are assigned by the DHCP server must be accessible from the XenServer host management network.
A TransferVM is a template for paravirtual virtual machines that contains Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and iSCSI servers. The virtual machine is temporary. A TransferVM is created and destroyed on the XenServer host during each transfer and mount operation in XenServer. For example, TransferVMs are used for disk transfers over HTTP.
If the VMM library servers that the XenServers will use are running Windows Server 2008, you must do the following:
Install Windows Management Framework Background Intelligent Transfer Service 4.0 (BITS 4.0) on each library server. To download BITS 4.0, see Windows Management Framework (Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0).
After you install BITS 4.0, enable the BITS Compact Server feature in Server Manager.
You must have the BITS Compact Server feature enabled to successfully create a new XenServer virtual machine from an existing template or virtual hard disk, or to create a VMM virtual machine template from a XenServer virtual machine.
The following table shows the VMM and XenServer features that are supported when VMM manages XenServer hosts.
VMM command shell
The VMM command shell is common across all hypervisors.
Adding XenServer hosts and pools
VMM supports the addition of stand-alone XenServer hosts and XenServer clusters (known as pools) to VMM management. Realize that you must install and configure XenServer before you add the hosts to VMM management. Also, you must create and configure XenServer pools in Citrix XenCenter.
VMM offers virtual machine placement based on host ratings during the creation, deployment, and migration of XenServer virtual machines. This includes concurrent virtual machine deployment during service deployment.
You can deploy VMM services to XenServer hosts.
You can make XenServer host resources available to a private cloud by creating private clouds from host groups where XenServer hosts reside. You can configure quotas for the private cloud and for self-service user roles that are assigned to the private cloud.
For more information, see Creating a Private Cloud in VMM Overview.
Dynamic Optimization and Power Optimization
You can use the new Dynamic Optimization features with XenServer hosts. For example, VMM can load balance virtual machines on XenServer pools by using Live Migration. Through Power Optimization, you can configure VMM to turn XenServer hosts on and off for power management.
Supported migration types include the following:
You can place a XenServer host that is managed by VMM in and out of maintenance mode by using the VMM console.
You can organize and store XenServer virtual machines, virtual hard disks, and VMM templates in the VMM library. VMM supports creating new virtual machines from templates.
XenServer templates are not used by VMM. However, you can use XenCenter to create a virtual machine, and then create a VMM template from the virtual machine.
VMM virtual machine templates are supported with XenServer, with the following restrictions:
The new VMM networking management features are supported on XenServer hosts, such as the assignment of logical networks, and the assignment of static IP addresses and MAC addresses to Windows-based virtual machines that are running on XenServer hosts.
Be aware that you must create external virtual networks through XenCenter. VMM recognizes and uses the existing external networks for virtual machine deployment.
VMM supports all virtual disk storage repositories that XenServer does. These include the following:
In addition, VMM supports ISO repositories on an NFS or a Windows File Sharing (Common Internet File System (CIFS)) share. Note the following:
Virtual machine management
VMM supports paravirtual (PV) and hardware-assisted virtualization (HVM) virtual machines, with the following restrictions:
Typical virtual machine management options are available, such as the use of virtual hard disks and the ability to attach ISO image from the library through an NFS or CIFS share. You can also control the state of the virtual machine, such as start, stop, save state, pause and shut down.
In VMM in System Center 2012 and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) only, converting a XenServer virtual machine to a Hyper-V virtual machine is supported by using the physical-to-virtual machine conversion process (P2V conversion). You do not have to remove the Citrix Tools for Virtual Machines before you start the conversion. Realize that VMM only supports the conversion of virtual machines that are running supported Windows-based guest operating systems.
To start the P2V process, in the VMs and Services workspace, on the Home tab, in the Create group, click the Create Virtual Machine drop-down arrow, and then click Convert Physical Machine.
Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO)
Monitoring and alerting for XenServer hosts is possible through VMM with the integration of Operations Manager and PRO.
Additional Support Information
VMM does not support the host-to-host migration of stopped virtual machines (LAN migration) between XenServer and other hosts.
The Dynamic Memory feature only applies to Hyper-V hosts that are running an operating system that supports Dynamic Memory.
Update management through VMM is not supported for XenServer hosts. You must use your existing solution to update XenServer hosts.
The conversion of a bare-metal computer to a virtual machine host, and cluster creation through VMM is not supported with XenServer.
Follow these procedures to manage XenServer hosts through VMM.
Describes how to add a XenServer host or pool to VMM management.
Describes the settings that are available in the XenServer host properties. Includes the following subtopics: