Setting Up a Test or Teaching Environment For XenServer
XenServer on XenServer
This is not a usage formally supported by Citrix, however it is possible (with limitations) to use it in some instances. It is not advised for use in a production environment but many developers find it useful especially if they have limited access to hardware.
Use cases are typically around providing training or demo environments, providing the ability to provision virtualised XenServer hosts.
Running XenServer on top of XenServer isn't a supported or sensible production
"As an alternativ
Please note that because “Other Install Media” is an HVM install the performance will correspondingly be unsuitable for production systems. Some users use this as part of their hardware compatibility testing.
One of my colleagues has explored scripting this type of installation on his blog: http://blogs.citrix.com/2013/03/18/virtual-hypervisor/
Checking Which Version Of XenServer Or Its Components Are Installed
If you are testing with multiple versions or frequently re-installing XenServer it may be useful to familiarise yourself with the CLI xe command:
host-param-get uuid=<host-uuid> param-name=software-version
which will report the version of all components of a XenServer installation.
Install / Upgrade and RollBack of Test Environments
Some developer tools intended for use in test environments (non-production) are available, here.
Testing A Product For Commercial Supported Citrix XenServer
Many developers and vendors create tools and products that they subsequently seek Citrix Certification for. Developers aspiring to official Citrix partner status for their products are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the certification criteria and kits http://www.citrix.co.uk/partner-programs/citrix-ready/test.html and to restrict themselves to fully supported architectural designs and interfaces. Access to Citrix’s partnering program http://www.citrix.co.uk/partner-programs/citrix-ready.html is free for XenServer Developers and Vendors.
Demo Licences (formally known as NFR licenses)
XenServer is now open source and as such developers have free access to the functionality, source code and builds. Commercially supported Citrix XenServer licensing offers some usability tools in particular associated with upgrades and hotfix application. Developers wishing to access demo licenses of commercially support XenServer can do so by joining the Citrix Ready Partnering Program.
Demo Licenses for Citrix Products
Developers producing products for XenServer as a Platform for products such as Citrix CloudPlatform or XenDesktop and for use in mobility solutions can obtain free demo licenses for test and development via the Citrix Ready Partner program. Licenses are available for
- Citrix XenDesktop (with XenApp)
- Citrix VDI-in-a-Box
- Citrix XenServer
- Citrix XenServer Per Socket
- Citrix Access Gateway VPX
- Citrix NetScaler VPX
- Citrix Access Gateway Universal
- Citrix AppDNA Enterprise
- Cloud Gateway Enterprise
Virtual Test Labs and Infrastructure
Vendors with limited experience or infrastructure for the testing of virtualised solutions may wish to explore using third party provision including Citrix Ready’s virtual test labs or consultancy solutions. Details of the can be found on the Citrix Site http://www.citrix.co.uk/partner-programs/citrix-ready/test.html, Citrix Ready Virtual Lab is an online lab that makes it simple for Citrix ecosystem partners to verify their products for the Citrix Ready program. The lab environment is preconfigured according to the requirements of select Citrix Ready verifications and contains the servers that most ISV partners require to verify their products.
The SDK and General XenServer User forums are frequented by many developers and XenServer users with experience of testing and using products for XenServer and can be a useful place to ask questions about testing products writeen against the APIs. Vendors and developers often recruit beta testers on the forums and many forum users welcome the chance to give developers feedback whilst products are in development.