XenServer Networking Configuration

Useful information I have gathered regarding setting up Citrix XenServer 6.0 networking:

1.  Bond two NICs dedicated for Management Traffic.  Since there will be an IP address assigned to the NICs, the bond can only operate on an active/passive basis.  This management bond will also be used for pool communication and live migrations.

2.  Bond two NICs for VM traffic, this L2 bond should be set to active/active for maximum bandwidth usage.

3.  Bond two NICs for iSCSI storage traffic.  Since this will be an L3 IP interface, the bond will active/passive.  If you need additional bandwidth, implement multi-pathing or high bandwidth NICs (10G)

4. Bond two NICs for Provisioning services (assuming you are running a XenDesktop environment)  This is a great article (http://blogs.citrix.com/2011/02/22/xenserver-for-xendesktop-how-many-network-cards-do-i-need/) which states that “PVS typically streams 166MB of data across the network during the boot process of a single Windows 7 x86 desktop”.

On your physical switch network, make sure you enable portfast on the interfaces connecting to your XenServer hosts, and disable port security and BPDU Guard.  You can enable trunking on the ports you need, but I would make the management interfaces access ports.

All information was taken from this very useful guide (http://support.citrix.com/servlet/KbServlet/download/28782-102-666382/XS-60-design-network_advanced.pdf) and the aforementioned XenDesktop guide.

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Solarwinds NPM 10.4 Upgrade

Upgraded our Solarwinds NPM from 10.3 to 10.4 with these steps for a problem-free install:

  1. Create solarwinds database backup on SQL server
    1. Login to SQL Management Studio -> Right-click SolarWindsOrion Database -> Tasks -> Backup
  2. Upgrade Solarwinds NPM server
    1. Log into Solarwinds NPM server as local administrator
    2. Extract 10.4 upgrade and right-click the NPM 10.4 install and select “Run as administrator”
    3. Run through the basic prompts and click finish
    4. The Configuration wizard will start up showing you your existing SQL server/login info (assuming you are using an external SQL server)
    5. Confirm on the final screen that the database will be upgraded and services installed and click finish

I was able to login after this with no problem and start using the new hardware monitoring features for network devices.  If you have any issues, I would first try shutting down all services with Orion Service Manager (under All Programs->Solarwinds Orion->Advanced Features) and then starting up all services.