Upgrade from an existing version

We provide upgrade and update capabilities that you can use to move from some earlier versions of Citrix Hypervisor to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0. Using the upgrade or update capability enables you to apply Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 without having to complete a full installation process. When you upgrade or update, Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 retains your VMs, SRs, and configuration.

  • You can upgrade from XenServer 7.6, 7.5, 7.1 Cumulative Update 2 (LTSR) or 7.0 to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 by using the Base Installation ISO. This section describes how to upgrade to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0.

    Note:

    Upgrading from XenServer 7.1 to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 is not supported. Ensure that the latest Cumulative Update is applied to Citrix Hypervisor 7.1 before attempting to upgrade.

  • For all other versions of XenServer, you cannot upgrade to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 directly. You can either first upgrade to a later version of Citrix Hypervisor and then upgrade that version to 8.0, or you can perform a clean installation using the Base Installation ISO. For more information, see Install.

Note:

To retain VMs from your previous installation of XenServer, export the VMs and import them into your clean installation of Citrix Hypervisor 8.0. VMs exported from any supported version of XenServer can be imported into Citrix Hypervisor 8.0. For more information, see Import and export VMs.

This section describes how to upgrade XenServer by using XenCenter or the xe CLI. It guides you through upgrading your Citrix Hypervisor servers - both pooled and standalone - automatically (using the XenCenter Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard) and manually.

Important:

  • Upgrading Citrix Hypervisor servers, and particularly a pool of Citrix Hypervisor servers, requires careful planning and attention. To avoid losing any existing data, either:
    • Map your upgrade path carefully.
    • Use the XenCenter Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard, and ensure that you select the option to upgrade when you are stepping through the installer.
  • If you are using XenCenter to upgrade your hosts, download and install the latest version of XenCenter. For example, when upgrading to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0, use XenCenter issued with Citrix Hypervisor 8.0. Using earlier versions of XenCenter to upgrade to a newer version of Citrix Hypervisor is not supported.

  • Boot-from-SAN settings are not inherited during the manual upgrade process. When upgrading using the ISO or PXE process, follow the same instructions as used in the installation process below to ensure that multipathd is correctly configured. For more information, see Boot from SAN.

  • If you are upgrading to the latest version from XenServer 6.5 Service Pack 1 or earlier, the ordering and naming of the NICs is different. To work around this change, you can change the order of the NICs during installation. For more information, see CTX135809 - How to Change Order of NICs.

Rolling pool upgrades

Citrix Hypervisor enables you to perform a rolling pool upgrade. A rolling pool upgrade keeps all the services and resources offered by the pool available while upgrading all of the hosts in a pool. This upgrade method takes only one Citrix Hypervisor server offline at a time. Critical VMs are kept running during the upgrade process by live migrating the VMs to other hosts in the pool.

Note:

The pool must have shared storage to keep your VMs running during a rolling pool upgrade. If your pool does not have shared storage, you must stop your VMs before upgrading because the VMs cannot be live migrated.

Storage live migration is not supported with rolling pool upgrades.

You can perform a rolling pool upgrade using XenCenter or the xe CLI. When using XenCenter, we recommend using the Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard. This wizard organizes the upgrade path automatically and guides you through the upgrade procedure. If you are using the xe CLI, first plan your upgrade path and then live migrate running VMs between Citrix Hypervisor servers as you perform the rolling pool upgrade manually.

The Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard is available for Citrix Hypervisor Premium Edition customers or those customers who have access to Citrix Hypervisor through their Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops entitlement. For more information about Citrix Hypervisor licensing, see Licensing. To upgrade, or to buy a Citrix Hypervisor license, visit the Citrix website.

Important:

Do not use Rolling Pool Upgrade with Boot from SAN environments. For more information on upgrading boot from SAN environments, see Boot from SAN.

Upgrade Citrix Hypervisor servers by using the XenCenter Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard

The Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard enables you to upgrade Citrix Hypervisor servers, hosts in a pool or standalone hosts, to the current version of Citrix Hypervisor.

The Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard guides you through the upgrade procedure and organizes the upgrade path automatically. For pools, each of the hosts in the pool is upgraded in turn, starting with the pool master. Before starting an upgrade, the wizard conducts a series of prechecks. These prechecks ensure certain pool-wide features, such as high availability are temporarily disabled and that each host in the pool is prepared for upgrade. Only one host is offline at a time. Any running VMs are automatically migrated off each host before the upgrade is installed on that host.

The Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard also allows you to automatically apply the available hotfixes when upgrading to a newer version of Citrix Hypervisor. This enables you to bring your standalone hosts or pools up-to-date with a minimum number of reboots at the end. You must be connected to the Internet during the upgrade process for this feature to work.

You can benefit from the automatic application of hotfixes feature when you use XenCenter issued with Citrix Hypervisor 7.6 to upgrade from any supported version of Citrix Hypervisor to Citrix Hypervisor 7.0 and later.

Note:

Rolling Pool Upgrade using XenCenter is only available for Citrix Hypervisor Premium Edition customers or those customers who have access to Citrix Hypervisor through their Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops entitlement.

The wizard can operate in Manual or Automatic mode:

  • In Manual Mode, you must manually run the Citrix Hypervisor installer on each host in turn and follow the on-screen instructions on the serial console of the host. When the upgrade begins, XenCenter prompts you to insert the XenCenter installation media or specify a network boot server for each host that you upgrade.

  • In Automatic Mode, the wizard uses network installation files on an HTTP, NFS, or FTP server to upgrade each host in turn. This mode doesn’t require you to insert installation media, manually reboot, or step through the installer on each host. If you perform a rolling pool upgrade in this manner, you must unpack the installation media onto your HTTP, NFS, or FTP server before starting the upgrade.

Before you upgrade

Before you begin your upgrade, be sure to make the following preparations:

  • Download and install XenCenter issued with Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 from the Citrix Hypervisor Product Download page. Using earlier versions of XenCenter to upgrade to a newer version of Citrix Hypervisor is not supported.

  • We strongly recommend that you take a backup of the state of your existing pool using the pool-dump-database xe CLI command. For more information, see Command line interface. Taking a backup state ensures that you can revert a partially complete rolling upgrade to its original state without losing VM data.

  • Ensure that your hosts are not over-provisioned: check that hosts have sufficient memory to carry out the upgrade. As a general guideline, if N equals the total number of hosts in a pool, there must be sufficient memory across N-1 hosts to run all of the live VMs in the pool. It is best to suspend any non-critical VMs during the upgrade process.

  • If you have vGPU-enabled VMs running on your pool, complete the following steps to migrate the pool while these VMs are running:

    • Ensure that the GPU you are using is supported on the the version you plan to upgrade to.
    • Identify a version of the NVidia GRID drivers that is available for both your current version of Citrix Hypervisor and the the version of Citrix Hypervisor you are upgrading. If possible, choose the latest available drivers.
    • Install the new GRID drivers on your Citrix Hypervisor servers and the matching guest drivers on any of your vGPU-enabled VMs.
    • Ensure that you also have the version of the GRID driver that matches the version of Citrix Hypervisor that you are upgrading to. You are prompted to install these drivers as a supplemental pack as part of the Rolling Pool Upgrade process.

Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard checks that the following actions have been taken. Perform these actions before you begin the upgrade process:

  • Empty the CD/DVD drives of the VMs in the pools.

  • Disable high availability.

To upgrade Citrix Hypervisor hosts by using the XenCenter Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard:

  1. Open the Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard: on the Tools menu, select Rolling Pool Upgrade.

  2. Read the Before You Start information, and then click Next to continue.

  3. Select the pools and any individual hosts that you want to upgrade, and then click Next.

  4. Choose one of the following modes:
    • Automatic Mode for an automated upgrade from network installation files on an HTTP, NFS, or FTP server
    • Manual Mode for a manual upgrade from either a CD/DVD or using network boot (using existing infrastructure)

    Note:

    If you choose Manual Mode, you must run the Citrix Hypervisor installer on each host in turn. Follow the on-screen instructions on the serial console of the host. When the upgrade begins, XenCenter prompts you to insert the Citrix Hypervisor installation media or specify a network boot server for each host that you upgrade.

  5. Choose whether you want XenCenter to automatically download and install the minimal set of updates (hotfixes) after upgrading the servers to a newer version. The apply updates option is selected by default. However, you must have internet connection to download and install the updates.

  6. After you have selected your Upgrade Mode, click Run Prechecks.

  7. Follow the recommendations to resolve any upgrade prechecks that have failed. If you want XenCenter to resolve all failed prechecks automatically, click Resolve All.

    When all prechecks have been resolved, click Next to continue.

  8. Prepare the Citrix Hypervisor installation media.

    If you chose Automatic Mode, enter the installation media details. Choose HTTP, NFS, or FTP and then specify the URL, user name, and password, as appropriate.

    Notes:

    • If you choose FTP, ensure that you escape any leading slashes that are in the file path section of the URL.

    • Enter the user name and password associated with your HTTP or FTP server, if you have configured security credentials. Do not enter the user name and password associated with your Citrix Hypervisor pool.

    • Citrix Hypervisor supports FTP in passive mode only.

    If you chose Manual Mode, note the upgrade plan and instructions.

    Click Start Upgrade.

  9. When the upgrade begins, the Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard guides you through any actions you must take to upgrade each host. Follow the instructions until you have upgraded and updated all hosts in the pools.

    If you have vGPU-enabled VMs, when you reach the step that gives you the option to supply a supplemental pack, upload the GRID driver that matches the one on your vGPU-enabled VMs. Ensure you upload the version of the driver for the Citrix Hypervisor version you are upgrading to.

    Note:

    If the upgrade or the update process fails for any reason, the Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard halts the process. This allows you to fix the issue and resume the upgrade or update process by clicking the Retry button.

  10. The Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard prints a summary when the upgrade is complete. Click Finish to close the wizard.

Upgrade Citrix Hypervisor servers by using the xe CLI

Important:

Performing a rolling pool upgrade using the xe CLI requires careful planning. Be sure to read the following section with care before you begin.

Plan an upgrade path

As you plan your upgrade, it is important to be aware of the following:

  • You can only migrate VMs from Citrix Hypervisor servers running an older version of Citrix Hypervisor to one running the same version or higher. For example, from version 7.0 to version 7.1 or from version 7.1 to version 8.0. You cannot migrate VMs from an upgraded host to one running an older version of Citrix Hypervisor. For example, from version 8.0 to version 7.1. Be sure to allow for space on your Citrix Hypervisor servers accordingly.

  • We strongly advise against running a mixed-mode pool (one with multiple versions of Citrix Hypervisor co-existing) for longer than necessary, as the pool operates in a degraded state during upgrade.

  • Key control operations are not available during upgrade. Do not attempt to perform any control operations. Though VMs continue to function as normal, VM actions other than migrate are not available (for example, shut down, copy and export). In particular, it is not safe to perform storage-related operations such as adding, removing, or resizing virtual disks.

  • Always upgrade the master host first. Do not place the host into maintenance mode using XenCenter before performing the upgrade. If you put the master in maintenance mode, a new master is designated.

  • After upgrading a host, apply any hotfixes that have been released for the upgraded version of Citrix Hypervisor before migrating VMs onto the host.

  • We strongly recommend that you take a backup of the state of your existing pool using the pool-dump-database xe CLI command. For more information, see Command Line interface. This allows you to revert a partially complete rolling upgrade back to its original state without losing any VM data. If you have to revert the rolling upgrade for any reason, you might have to shut down VMs. This action is required because it is not possible to migrate a VM from an upgraded Citrix Hypervisor server to a host running an older version of Citrix Hypervisor.

Before you begin your rolling pool upgrade

  • If you are using XenCenter, upgrade XenCenter to the latest version. The newer version of XenCenter correctly controls older versions of Citrix Hypervisor servers.

  • Empty the CD/DVD drives of the VMs in the pool. For details and instructions, see Before Upgrading a Single Citrix Hypervisor server.

  • Disable high availability.

Perform rolling pool upgrades by using the xe CLI

  1. Start with the pool master. Disable the master by using the host-disable command. This prevents any new VMs from starting on the specified host.

  2. Ensure that no VMs are running on the master. Shut down, suspend or migrate VMs to other hosts in the pool.

    To migrate specified VMs to specified hosts, use the vm-migrate command. By using the vm-migrate command, you have full control over the distribution of migrated VMs to other hosts in the pool.

    To live migrate all VMs to other hosts in the pool, use the host-evacuate command. By using the host-evacuate command, you leave the distribution of migrated VMs to Citrix Hypervisor.

  3. Shut down the pool master.

    Important:

    You are unable to contact the pool master until the upgrade of the master is complete. Shutting down the pool master causes the other hosts in the pool to enter emergency mode. Hosts can enter emergency mode when they in a pool whose master has disappeared from the network and cannot be contacted after several attempts. VMs continue to run on hosts in emergency mode, but control operations are not available.

  4. Boot the pool master using the Citrix Hypervisor installation media and method of your choice (such as, installation CD or network). Follow the Citrix Hypervisor installation procedure (see Install) until the installer offers you the option to upgrade. Choose to upgrade.

    Warnings:

    • Ensure you select the upgrade option to avoid losing any existing data.

    • If anything interrupts the upgrade of the pool master or if the upgrade fails for any reason, do not attempt to proceed with the upgrade. Reboot the pool master and restore to a working version of the master.

    When your pool master restarts, the other hosts in the pool leave emergency mode and normal service is restored after a few minutes.

  5. Apply any hotfixes that have been released for the new version of Citrix Hypervisor to the pool master.

  6. On the pool master, start or resume any shutdown or suspended VMs. Migrate any VMs that you want back to the pool master.

  7. Select the next Citrix Hypervisor server in your upgrade path. Disable the host.

  8. Ensure that no VMs are running on the host. Shut down, suspend or migrate VMs to other hosts in the pool.

  9. Shut down the host.

  10. Follow the upgrade procedure for the host, as described for the master in Step 4.

    Note:

    If the upgrade of a host that is not the master fails or is interrupted, you do not have to revert. Use the host-forget command to forget the host. Reinstall Citrix Hypervisor on the host, and then join it, as a new host, to the pool using the pool-join command.

  11. Apply any hotfixes that have been released for the new version of Citrix Hypervisor to the host.

  12. On the host, start or resume any shutdown or suspended VMs. Migrate any VMs that you want back to the host.

  13. Repeat Steps 6–10 for the rest of the hosts in the pool.

Upgrade a single Citrix Hypervisor server by using the xe CLI

Before you upgrade a single Citrix Hypervisor server

Before upgrading a standalone Citrix Hypervisor server, shut down or suspend any VMs running on that host. It is important to eject and empty CD/DVD drives of any VMs you plan to suspend. If you do not empty the CD/DVD drives, you may not be able to resume the suspended VMs after upgrade.

An empty VM CD/DVD drive means the VM is not attached to an ISO image or a physical CD/DVD mounted through the Citrix Hypervisor server. In addition, you must ensure that the VM is not attached to any physical CD/DVD drive on the Citrix Hypervisor server at all.

To empty the CD/DVD drive of a VM by using the xe CLI:

  1. Identify which VMs do not have empty CD/DVD drives by typing the following:

    xe vbd-list type=CD empty=false
    

    This returns a list of all the VM CD/DVD drives that are not empty, for example:

        uuid ( RO) : abae3997-39af-2764-04a1-ffc501d132d9
        vm-uuid ( RO): 340a8b49-866e-b27c-99d1-fb41457344d9
        vm-name-label ( RO): VM02_DemoLinux
        vdi-uuid ( RO): a14b0345-b20a-4027-a233-7cbd1e005ede
        empty ( RO): false
        device ( RO): xvdd
    
        uuid ( RO) : ec174a21-452f-7fd8-c02b-86370fa0f654
        vm-uuid ( RO): db80f319-016d-0e5f-d8db-3a6565256c71
        vm-name-label ( RO): VM01_DemoLinux
        vdi-uuid ( RO): a14b0345-b20a-4027-a233-7cbd1e005ede
        empty ( RO): false
        device ( RO): xvdd
    

    Note the uuid, which is the first item in the list.

  2. To empty the CD/DVD drives of the VMs listed, type the following:

    xe vbd-eject uuid=uuid
    

Upgrade a single Citrix Hypervisor server by using the xe CLI

To upgrade a single Citrix Hypervisor server by using the xe CLI:

  1. Disable the Citrix Hypervisor server that you want to upgrade by typing the following:

    xe host-disable host-selector=host_selector_value
    

    When the Citrix Hypervisor server is disabled, VMs cannot be created or started on that host. VMs also cannot be migrated to a disabled host.

  2. Shut down or suspend any VMs running on the host that you want to upgrade by using the xe vm-shutdown or xe vm-suspend commands.

  3. Shut down the host by using the xe host-shutdown command.

  4. Follow the Citrix Hypervisor installation procedure until the installer offers you the option to upgrade. Choose to upgrade. For more information, see Install.

    Warning:

    Be sure to select the upgrade option to avoid losing any existing data.

    You don’t have to configure any settings again during the setup procedure. The upgrade process follows the first-time installation process but several setup steps are bypassed. The existing settings for networking configuration, system time, and so on, are retained.

    When your host restarts, normal service is restored after a few minutes.

  5. Apply any hotfixes that have been released for the new version of Citrix Hypervisor.

  6. Restart any shutdown VMs, and resume any suspended VMs.