Saturday, June 5, 2010

Importing the XenApp EVA is really this easy.

I’m going to import the XenApp 6 Evaluation Virtual Appliance into Citrix XenServer 5.6 using a new feature of XenServer 5.6 and XenCenter 5.6 called the Disk Image Import Wizard.

You can also watch this in action here:

I will assume that you have already downloaded and installed XenServer 5.6 and XenCenter 5.6.

First, go to the download website for the Citrix XenApp EVA.

A login with a MyCitrix user account is required. Be sure to download two items: the Getting Started Guide and the Evaluation Virtual Appliance package for XenApp 6.

After downloading the Evaluation Virtual Appliance, execute the CitrixXA6EVA.exe to expand the self extracting archive into a folder that contains a VHD and licensing documents.

Now, open (and read) the getting started guide. The import wizard requires some important information regarding the configuration of the virtual machine. On page four, the guide states that the EVA requires at least 2GB of RAM and the VHD requires at least 30GB of storage space. So make sure that your XenServer has a Storage Repository with at least 30GB of available space.


Open XenCenter and connect to a XenServer 5.6 host (using version 5.6 is required). In the left hand tree view select the host and then right click for the context menu and choose the Disk Image Import.


In the import wizard browse to and select the VHD and choose next.

Enter the information for the virtual machine. The VM needs a name, the number of virtual processors to assign and an amount of memory.

Note: I am unselecting the Run Operating System Fixups option because I know that this VM contains Server 2008 R2 and that it was built for Hyper-V. Server 2008 R2 can handle hardware changes pretty well (single to multiple processors, critical boot devices, etc.). XenServer also presents a critical boot device controller similar to the Hyper-V IDE specific boot device.


Then begin the import.

Once the import completes, select done.

At this time: power on the virtual machine and login at the logon screen. The domain and user account and password are in the Getting Started Guide.

If the screen of the VM flickers, Windows Server 2008 R2 is busy setting up some of the new hardware devices that it is detecting. You should still be able to login and complete the setup of the Evaluation Virtual Appliance environment.

If you would like to optimize the virtual machine for XenServer, install the XenServer tools within the virtual machine.

There is no “smoke and mirrors” involved here, it is literally this easy using the Disk Image Import wizard.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

OVF packages and virtual disk import now native in XenCenter

The latest update of XenServer (5.6) and its GUI management interface XenCenter includes the addition OVF package Import and Export and virtual Disk Image Import courtesy of Citrix Labs in Redmond.

This means that in the XenCenter application there is now the option to Import and / or Export (Create) packages using the OVF standard from the DTMF.

There is also the added feature of Disk Image Import – directly importing a VHD (Microsoft), VMDK (VMware), VDI (VirtualBox) virtual disk or a WIM (Windows IMaging format) disk image into a VM.

The OS Fixup feature from Project Kensho is also included.  This is a basic routine that handles the most common interoperability issues that folks can run into when importing an OVF package to XenServer when the VMs (the operating systems within the VM actually) have been installed on a hypervisor other than XenServer.

This feature is labeled as experimental in XenCenter but I hope that you all find it useful in bringing OVF packages into XenServer and also in producing OVF packages for internal and other purposes.

More later, in both the XenCenter forums and on my blog.

XenServer 5.6 can be downloaded from the Download link (in the top navigation bar) at – you must login with your MyCitrix ID and filter by selecting XenServer to get version 5.6.

Quick demos of the new features here: