XenServer 6.0 – Import/Export OVF

We had received several OVF from a vendor who exported their VM’s from VMWare and we needed to import them into our XenServer 6.0 environment. After learning that this functionality is now built into Citrix XenServer and no longer needing XenConverter we were excited. However our initial test to import failed. After re-reading the documentation and searching several forums, nothing appeared to resolve the problem – the import would start and several seconds later it would fail.

So we imported the images into our VMWare environment to ensure the OVF’s were good, and even exported them again just to make sure the OVF files themselves were not the issue.

We then tried to export a XenServer VM via OVF and it failed as well. However we could import and export VXA files without issues. Okay, so we have it narrowed down. A bit more research brought us to this Citrix Blog about TransferVM

http://blogs.citrix.com/2010/12/09/diagnosing-xenserver-appliance-wizard-failures/

We attempted this but it said that the package as already installed.

We then contact Citrix who said to try: Nagivating to /opt/xensource/packages/files/transfer-vm and then running the uninstall-transfer-vm.sh

However that didn’t work, it prompted for a UUID but it didn’t document anything about the UUID

We brought this back to our test environment and it worked fine, we uninstalled and then installed and our OVF imports work properly. The difference between the test environment and production is that production is in a pool, whereas the test is standalone.

I have tried to find documentation on which UUID it is looking for but at this point I’ve tried it with the pool, host, and sr UUIDs to no avail. I might have to resort to cycling hosts out of the pool into standalone mode and reinstalling the transfer-vm component and then rejoining the pool.

Microsoft Licensing and Virtualization

Just a reminder that when performing p2v from a server which uses OEM licensing, it will violate the EULA to move that to new hardware. So we need to ensure that during the proposal phase we’re purchasing a open license for the server we’re virtualizing. It many cases, after a p2v, during the initial boot up, if it was OEM licensing, it will force an immediate activation with no grace period. Attempts to activate online or automated phone system will fail. You must talk to an agent which may or may not let you activate the OEM software on different hardware.

You can re-enter the product key, and it will cause a new activation id to be generated which will work with an agent most of the time.  But again, this still technically violates OEM EULA. Also know that OEM media will not accept open license keys, only OEM keys.

One other option exists as well for OEM. If you purchased your OEM version of software within the last 90 days, you can simply purchase an Open License Software Assurance (without license) which is typically around 30% of full license cost, and it will effectively convert your OEM license to a standard Open License.

Virtualization

Over the last decade virtualization has become a household term in the IT realm. However, what is less understood is how broad the term really is. Virtualization software can be used for a number of purposes. Server consolidation (running multiple logical servers on a single physical machine) is a popular way to save money on hardware costs and make backup and administration easier, and that’s what we’re primarily focused on in this article. However, other uses include:

  • Desktop virtualization, for running client operating systems in a VM for training purposes or for support of legacy software or hardware.
  • Virtual testing environments, which provide a cost-effective way to test new software, patches, etc., before rolling them out on your production network.
  • Presentation virtualization, by which you can run an application in one location and control it from another, with processing being done on a server and only graphics and end-user I/O handled at the client end.
  • Application virtualization, which separates the application configuration layer from the operating system so that applications can be run on client machines without being installed.
  • Storage virtualization, whereby a SAN solution is used to provide storage for virtual servers, rather than depending on the hard disks in the physical server.

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