Installing XenServer via PXE and building DRBD

As promised here is the next part of my Xen series.

I had to setup the servers via PXE since I didn't order CD drives (on purpose since I didn't play much with PXE yet). I installed the TFTP server following the docs provided by Citrix and added the following line to our dnsmasq config:


This instructs PXE clients to load the pxelinux.0 from via TFTP.

The installation of XenServer itself was straight forward then, it can load the installation data (like my raid driver and the base images) from any web server, NFS or USB disk.

Getting DRBD to work was a bit trickier, since I configured no local storage during installation (which I needed to for the DDK [Driver Development Kit from Citrix] as the drivers from didn't work for 5.6 FP1). So I added a local storage repo:

xe sr-create content-type=user device-config:device=/dev/disk/by-id/<scsi-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>\
  host-uuid=<host-uuid> name-label="Local Storage" shared=false type=lvm

The host uuid can be determined via xe host-list. Then I installed the DDK via XenCenter. The development Kit creates a new PV VM for which the local storage was needed (DRBD isn't configured yet, remember ;)). Building DRBD was a breeze and mostly worked as described here. If you are to lazy, you can grep them from (use at own risk).

Sadly XenServer configured a bridge for every network card and in my experience that slows down DRBD (what for do we have a dedicated Gigabit connection after all…), so I deleted it:

xe pif-list host-uuid=<host-uuid>
xe pif-unplug uuid=<uuid>
xe pif-forget uuid=<uuid>

I was able to remove both NICs using just the server which I configured as pool master in XenCenter, so don't be confused if interface show up multiple times (take a look at the host uuid to get the right one…). Then I configured it manually via /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1:

MTU=9000 # adjust to match your hardware

So for now the servers are running happily in the rack, with one minor?! issue: Shutting down doesn't work, it just doesn't cut the power -- I am currently looking into it, but for now it looks like it's a problem with the e1000e driver for the NICs.

That's it for today, tomorrow I'll hopefully manage to configure and DRBD as shared storage between the two servers.



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