Chapter 3. Installing XenServer

The most important design decision you’ll need to make is defining the overall purpose for your XenServer installation. Many years ago, Citrix had a marketing campaign called “Ten minutes to Xen.” The core premise behind that campaign was that XenServer was so easy to install, a manual install could be completed in less than 10 minutes. This was a particularly interesting premise, considering that alternate platforms could easily take 10 minutes to simply collect configuration information, and it even prompted one analyst to arrive with a stop watch and slow-booting hardware to test the premise; and still the full install completed in less than 10 minutes.

XenServer is a complete operating environment that is installed onto the target host’s local storage media. The installer does not support operating environment selection on boot (commonly known as dual-booting), and XenServer should be installed on a dedicated host. While there are frequent requests to install XenServer on removable Flash-based media, doing so should be avoided in order to preserve the lifespan of the media. Likewise for USB-based storage: do not install XenServer onto such media because it has been tested, tried, and presents extreme performance issues.

At the writing of our book, TRIM support is not a part of the kernel. As such, XenServer can be safely installed on solid-state drives (SSDs) whose controllers have the appropriate logic to ensure specific cells aren’t ...

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