XenServer Requirements

XenServer runs directly on your hardware, so there won’t be anything between your hardware and XenServer. In other words, XenServer will function literally as the operating system. It will talk directly to your hardware, including your network interface card (NIC) and storage controller.

It requires a 64-bit CPU with Intel VT or AMD-V enabled. Now, this is actually more like a recommended spec. It doesn’t mean that XenServer won’t install if your CPU isn’t Intel VT or AMD-V enabled, it will. However, the features and functionality will be very limited.

You need a minimum of 2 GB of RAM just to install XenServer, but the recommended is at least 8 GB, especially if you intend to host multiple virtual machines on top of it. XenServer alone will require 16 GB of disk space. But again, you’ll need more for your virtual machines.

It can work with a 100 Mb NIC controller. However, what is really recommended is a Gigabit or even a 10 Gigabit Ethernet controller.

XenServer Hardware Capabilities

You can put up to 1 TB of RAM, 16 NICs, and 64 logical processors on one physical host running XenServer. Remember that the logical processors is a combination of the cores, the hyperthreading that’s enabled, etc.

I strongly recommend you check the hardware compatibility list (HCL) at hcl.xensource.combefore you purchase any of the hardware or peripherals you intend to attach to your server.

Downloading Citrix XenServer 6 and XenCenter

You can download XenServer and XenCenter from www.citrix.com/xenserver. Or if you have a MyCitrix account, you can go to www.citrix.com/mycitrix and download it from there.

XenServer 6 is a 508 MB (ISO) download, while XenCenter is a 41 MB download.


Installing XenCenter

So now let me take you through the installation process for XenCenter where I can show you how to connect it to your newly configured server.

Download the installation file for XenCenter to a remote Windows environment.

XenCenter Installer on Windows

Once it’s ready, launch the installer. It’s just a simple installation, so basically you just need to keep on clicking Next until you get to the screen with the Install button. Click that.

Ready to Install Citrix XenCenter

Click Yes.

Accept User Account Control

And then click Finish.

Completed Citrix XenCenter setup wizard

Tour of XenCenter

Before we wrap things up, let me give you a brief tour of XenCenter. Launch the program from the Start menu.

Launch Citrix XenCenter

The first thing it’s going to ask you is whether you want it to periodically check the Internet for updates. I suggest you click Yes.

Periodically check internet for updates

Here’s how XenCenter looks like (see screenshot below) before any hosts, resource pools, and so on, are added to it.

To connect to the XenServer host you configured earlier, click Add a server.

XenCenter welcome screen

Enter the IP address I asked you to take note of earlier. Also enter the password you assigned for your root account. Click Add.

Add new server in XenCenter

One of the first things you want to make sure as you’re adding a new XenServer to XenCenter is to save and restore the server connection state on startup. Check the box that will do just that.

Save and restore connection state

Once you do that, you will be allowed to configure a master password for all the XenServers you’ll be associating with this XenCenter. Click the Require a master password checkbox if that’s what you want to do, and then enter your desired master password in the fields provided.

Set master password in XenCenter

After you click OK, you’ll be brought back to the main screen, where you’ll see your XenServer already added to XenCenter.

Newly added XenServer


More info on Petri IT Knowledgebase Team