XenServer: APC Smart Shutdown

If you have the network modules for your APC Smart-UPS then you can use the embedded soft to perform a smart shutdown. However this method permits you to shutdown all virtual machines and the virtual host with a single serial cable attached to a physical server

–          Connect the APC UPS to a non virtualized machine

–          Install PowerChute

–          Install XenCenter

–          Create a default.cmd file (attached) which points to a batch file in the XenCenter directory

–          Create a shutdown.bat file (attached) which shutdowns appropriate services, and then shuts down the xen servers, then the host.

–          In the PowerChute console,  configure it to run the default.cmd file on the power event

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XenServer: SNMP Monitoring

To enable SNMP monitoring on Citrix Xen Server:

–          Downloaded versions come with SNMP disabled, enable using Citrix ctx116187

o   In brief, from SSH:
service snmpd start (this enables SNMP service)
chkconfig snmpd on (this ensures SNMP starts after reboot)

o   Disregard other “installation” steps on KB, as they apply to release 3.x and prior, however no more recent KB is available

o   You can customize and lock down SNMP via vi /etc/snmp/snmp.conf (if you know what you’re doing and know the vi editor)

XenServer Virtual Disks

Unlike VMWare (ESX/ESXi), Citrix’ XenServer presents virtual hard drives over an IDE interface which is limited to 4 devices (two primary, and two slave devices), and since you also have an optical media (DVD) present, then you are limited to only 3 physical drives presented to your virtual host within Xen.

However, according to the documentation, the maximum number of disks which can be added to a Microsoft Windows VM is 7 physical drives. However, without reading the details on how to accomplish this, you will find that you can actually only add 3 physical drives from XenCenter.

To increase this, you will need to first boot the Virtual Server and install the Xen Tools, and reboot so that XenCenter detects the correct toolset is installed. At this point you will be permitted to add a second set of 4 physical drives, which will be available within Disk Management immediately. Of course you will need to go through the customary partitioning and formatting of the virtual drive.

You need to be aware of this issue as booting a migrated system without all the necessary drives attached MAY cause issues.  In some cases it COULD even prevent the server from booting.

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