Product Documentation

Converting a NetScaler MPX 11515/11520/11530/11540/11542 Appliance to a NetScaler SDX 11515/11520/11530/11540/11542 Appliance

Jan 07, 2014

You can convert a NetScaler MPX appliance to a NetScaler SDX appliance by upgrading the software through a new Solid State Drive (SSD) and a new Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Citrix supplies a field conversion kit to migrate a NetScaler MPX appliance to a NetScaler SDX appliance.

Note: Citrix recommends that you configure the Lights Out Management (LOM) Port of the NetScaler appliance before starting the conversion process. For more information on the LOM port of the NetScaler appliance, see Lights Out Management Port of the NetScaler Appliance.
To convert a NetScaler MPX appliance to a NetScaler SDX appliance, you must access the appliance through a console cable attached to a computer or terminal. Before connecting the console cable, configure the computer or terminal to support the following configuration:
  • VT100 terminal emulation
  • 9600 baud
  • 8 data bits
  • 1 stop bit
  • Parity and flow control set to NONE

Connect one end of the console cable to the RS232 serial port on the appliance, and the other end to the computer or terminal.

Note: To use a cable with an RJ-45 converter, insert the optional converter into the console port and attach the cable to it.

With the cable attached, verify that the MPX appliance’s components are functioning correctly. You are then ready to begin the conversion. The conversion process modifies the Basic Input-Output System (BIOS), installs XenServer hypervisor and a Service Virtual Machine image, and copies the NetScaler VPX image to the Hard Disk Drive.

After the conversion process, you make a few modifications to the appliance’s configuration and apply a new license. You can then provision the VPX instances through the Management Service on what is now a NetScaler SDX appliance.

The following figure shows the front panel of the MPX 11515/11520/11530/11540/11542 appliance.

Figure 1. Citrix NetScaler MPX 11515/11520/11530/11540/11542, front panel


To verify proper operation of the MPX appliance's components

  1. Access the console port and enter the administrator credentials.
  2. Run the following command from the command line interface of the appliance to display the serial number: show hardware

    The serial number might be helpful in the event that you want to contact Citrix Technical Support.

    Example

    > show hardware 
            Platform: NSMPX-11500 12*CPU+8*IX+4*E1K+2*E1K+2*CVM N3 1400210 
            Manufactured on: 8/12/2014 
            CPU: 2400MHZ 
            Host Id: 872841350 
            Serial no: 2NSHJ2DR9E 
            Encoded serial no: 2NSHJ2DR9E 
    Done 
    
  3. Run the following command to display the status of the active 1G and 10G interfaces: show interface
  4. In the show interface command's output, verify that all of the interfaces are enabled and the status of every interface is shown as UP/UP.
    Note: If you do not have an SFP+ transceiver for every port, verify the interfaces in stages. After checking the first set of interfaces, unplug the SFP+ transceivers and plug them in to the next set of ports. The SFP+ transceivers are not hot-swappable. Therefore, restart the MPX appliance after you connect the transceivers.
  5. Run the following commands for each of the interfaces that are not in the UP/UP state:
    • enable interface 1/x
    • enable interface 10/x
    where x is the new interface number.
  6. Run the following command to verify that the status of the power supplies is normal: stat system -detail

    Example

    > stat system -detail 
    NetScaler Executive View 
    System Information: 
    Up since        Wed Aug 13 12:09:54 2014 
    Memory usage (MB)                    924 
    InUse Memory (%)                    5.64 
    Number of CPUs                         5 
     
    System Health Statistics (Standard): 
    CPU 0 Core Voltage (Volts)                      1.10 
    CPU 1 Core Voltage (Volts)                      1.10 
    Main 3.3 V Supply Voltage                       3.26 
    Standby 3.3 V Supply Voltage                    3.22 
    +5.0 V Supply Voltage                           5.09 
    +12.0 V Supply Voltage                         12.14 
    Battery Voltage (Volts)                         3.17 
    Intel CPU Vtt Power(Volts)                      0.00 
    5V Standby Voltage(Volts)                       4.97 
    Voltage Sensor2(Volts)                          0.00 
    CPU Fan 0 Speed (RPM)                           5929 
    CPU Fan 1 Speed (RPM)                           5929 
    System Fan Speed (RPM)                          5929 
    System Fan 1 Speed (RPM)                        5929 
    System Fan 2 Speed (RPM)                        5929 
    CPU 0 Temperature (Celsius)                       49 
    CPU 1 Temperature (Celsius)                       51 
    Internal Temperature (Celsius)                    33 
    Power supply 1 status                         NORMAL 
    Power supply 2 status                         NORMAL 
     
    System Disk Statistics: 
    /flash Size (MB)                               63473 
    /flash Used (MB)                                 149 
    /flash Available (MB)                          58246 
    /flash Used (%)                                    0 
    /var Size (MB)                                745163 
    /var Used (MB)                                   249 
    /var Available (MB)                           685300 
    /var Used (%)                                      0 
     
    System Health Statistics(Auxiliary): 
    Voltage 0 (Volts)                               0.00 
    Voltage 1 (Volts)                               0.00 
    Voltage 2 (Volts)                               0.00 
    Voltage 3 (Volts)                               0.00 
    Voltage 4 (Volts)                               1.50 
    Voltage 5 (Volts)                               0.00 
    Voltage 6 (Volts)                               0.00 
    Voltage 7 (Volts)                               0.00 
    Fan 0 Speed (RPM)                               5929 
    Fan 1 Speed (RPM)                                  0 
    Fan 2 Speed (RPM)                                  0 
    Fan 3 Speed (RPM)                                  0 
    Temperature 0 (Celsius)                           40 
    Temperature 1 (Celsius)                           35 
    Temperature 2 (Celsius)                            0 
    Temperature 3 (Celsius)                            0 
    Done 
    
  7. Run the following command to generate a tar of system configuration data and statistics: show techsupport

    Example

    > show techsupport 
    showtechsupport data collector tool - $Revision: #1 $! NetScaler version 9.2 
    The NS IP of this box is 10.10.10.10 
    Current HA state: Primary (or this is not part of HA 
    pair!) 
    All the data will be collected under 
     
    /var/tmp/support/collector_10.10.10.10_P_13May2011_12_01 
    Copying selected configuration files from nsconfig .... 
    
    Note: The output of the command is available in the /var/tmp/support/collector_<IP_address>_P_<date>.tar.gz file. Copy this file to another computer for future reference. The output of the command might be helpful in the event that you want to contact Citrix Technical Support.
  8. At the NetScaler command line interface, switch to the shell prompt. Type: shell
  9. Run the following command to verify that 2 Cavium cards are available: root@ns# dmesg | grep cavium

    Example

    root@ns# dmesg | grep cavium 
    Cavium cavium_probe : found card  0x177d,device=0x11 
    cavium0 mem 0xddd00000-0xdddfffff irq 24 at device 0.0 on pci20 
    Cavium cavium_probe : found card  0x177d,device=0x11 
    cavium1 mem 0xd6f00000-0xd6ffffff irq 32 at device 0.0 on pci5 
    

    Run the following command to verify that 596 MB of RAM is reserved for shared memory: root@ns# dmesg | grep memory

    Example

    root@ns# dmesg | grep memory 
    real memory  = 52613349376 (50176 MB) 
    avail memory = 49645355008 (47345 MB) 
    NS-KERN map_shared_mem_ioctl (cpu 7, NSPPE-03): Reserving 596 MB for shared memory type 0 
    
  10. Run the following command to verify that the appliance has 12 CPU cores: root@ns# dmesg | grep cpu

    Example

    root@ns# dmesg | grep cpu 
    cpu0 (BSP): APIC ID:  0 
    cpu1 (AP): APIC ID:  2 
    cpu2 (AP): APIC ID:  4 
    cpu3 (AP): APIC ID: 16 
    cpu4 (AP): APIC ID: 18 
    cpu5 (AP): APIC ID: 20 
    cpu6 (AP): APIC ID: 32 
    cpu7 (AP): APIC ID: 34 
    cpu8 (AP): APIC ID: 36 
    cpu9 (AP): APIC ID: 48 
    cpu10 (AP): APIC ID: 50 
    cpu11 (AP): APIC ID: 52 
    cpu0: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    acpi_throttle0: <ACPI CPU Throttling> on cpu0 
    cpu1: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    acpi_throttle1: <ACPI CPU Throttling> on cpu1 
    cpu2: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu3: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu4: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu5: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu6: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu7: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu8: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu9: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu10: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    cpu11: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0 
    NS-KERN map_shared_mem_ioctl (cpu 7, NSPPE-03): Reserving 596 MB for shared memory type 0 
    
  11. Run the following command to verify that the /var drive is mounted as /dev/ad8s1e: root@ns# df -h

    Example

    root@ns# df -h 
    Filesystem     Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on 
    /dev/md0c      276M    246M     24M    91%    / 
    devfs          1.0K    1.0K      0B   100%    /dev 
    procfs         4.0K    4.0K      0B   100%    /proc 
    /dev/ad4s1a     62G    149M     57G     0%    /flash 
    /dev/ad8s1e    728G    299M    669G     0%    /var 
    root@ns# 
     
    
  12. Run the following command to execute the ns_hw_err.bash script, which checks for latent hardware errors: root@ns# /netscaler/ns_hw_err.bash

    Example

    root@ns# /netscaler/ns_hw_err.bash 
    NetScaler NS10.1: Build 127.11.nc, Date: Aug 11 2014, 18:24:36 
    platform: serial 2NSHJ2DR9E 
    platform: sysid 1400210 - NSMPX-11500 12*CPU+8*IX+4*E1K+2*E1K+2*CVM N3 
    HDD MODEL: Device Model:     ST1000NM0033-9ZM173 
     
    Generating the list of newnslog files to be processed... 
    Generating the events from newnslog files... 
    Checking for HDD errors... 
    /var/nslog/dmesg.prev:swap.NO 
    ****************************************** 
    HDD ERROR: FOUND        1 HDD errors: swap.NO 
    ****************************************** 
    Checking for HDD SMART errors... 
    Checking for Flash errors... 
    Checking for SSL errors... 
    Checking for BIOS errors... 
    Checking for SMB errors... 
    Checking for MotherBoard errors... 
    Checking for CMOS errors... 
            License year: 2014: OK 
    License server failed at startup. Check /var/log/license.log 
    Vendor daemon failed at startup. Check /var/log/license.log 
    Checking for SFP/NIC errors... 
    Checking for Firmware errors... 
    Checking for License errors... 
    Checking for Undetected CPUs... 
    Checking for DIMM flaps... 
    Checking the Power Supply Errors... 
    root@ns# 
     
     
    
  13. Important: Physically disconnect all ports except the LOM port, including the management port, from the network.
  14. At the shell prompt, switch to the NetScaler command line. Type: exit
  15. Run the following command to shut down the appliance: shutdown -p now

    Example

    > shutdown -p now 
    Are you sure you want to completely stop NetScaler (Y/N)? [N]:y 
    

To upgrade the appliance

  1. Locate the solid-state drive on the back panel of the appliance, as shown in the following figure:
  2. Verify that the replacement solid-state drive (SSD) is the one required for your NetScaler model. The Citrix label is on the top of the solid-state drive, which is pre-populated with a new version of BIOS and a recent build of the required Service VM software.
  3. Remove the SSD drive by pushing the safety latch of the drive cover down while pulling the drive handle.
  4. On the new SSD drive, open the drive handle completely, and then insert the new drive into the slot.
  5. Close the handle flush with the rear side of the appliance so that the drive locks securely into the slot.
    Important: The orientation of the solid-state drive is important. When you insert the drive, make sure that the Citrix product label is at the top.
  6. Locate the hard disk drive (HDD) on the back panel of the appliance.
  7. Remove the HDD by pushing the safety latch of the drive cover to the right and pulling the drive handle.
  8. On the new disk drive, open the drive handle completely to the left, and then insert the new drive into the slot.
  9. Close the handle flush with the rear side of the appliance so that the hard drive locks securely into the slot.
  10. Store the old SSD/HDD pair for future handling.
    Important: The orientation of the hard disk drive is important. When you insert the drive, make sure that the Citrix product label is at the top.
  11. Start the NetScaler appliance. For instructions, see Switching on the Appliance.

    The conversion process takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The conversion process updates the BIOS, installs the XenServer hypervisor and the Management Service Operating system, and copies the NetScaler VPX image to the hard disk drive for instance provisioning. When the conversion begins, the LCD screen on the front bezel indicates NSMPX-11500 10G, as shown in the following figure.



    When the conversion is successful, the LCD indicates Citrix NSSDX - 11515, as shown in the following figure.



    Note: The serial number of the appliance remains the same.
  12. Keep the console cable attached during the conversion process. Allow the process to complete, at which point the netscaler-sdx login: prompt appears.

    If the boot SSD is not inserted completely into the designated slot, the NetScaler SDX appliance attempts to start from the hard disk drive, and the bootup process results in a prompt different from the one mentioned above. If the netscaler-sdx login: prompt does not appear, carefully re-seat the SSD, close the locking handle, and restart the appliance.

To reconfigure the converted appliance

After the conversion process, the appliance no longer has its previous working configuration. Therefore, you can access the appliance through a Web browser only by using the default IP address: 192.168.100.1/16. Configure a computer on network 192.168.0.0 and connect it directly to the appliance’s management port (0/1) with a cross-over Ethernet cable, or access the NetScaler SDX appliance through a network hub by using a straight through Ethernet cable. Use the default credentials to log on (Username: nsroot and Password: nsroot), and then do the following:

  1. Select the Configuration tab.
  2. Verify that the System Resource section displays 24 CPU cores, 16 SSL cores, 48 GB of total memory for the NetScaler SDX appliance.

  3. Select the System node and, under Set Up Appliance, click Network Configuration to modify the IP address of the Management Service.
  4. In the Configure Network Configuration dialog box, specify the following details:
    • Interface*—The interface through which clients connect to the Management Service. Possible values: 0/1, 0/2. Default: 0/1.
    • XenServer IP Address*—The IP address of XenServer hypervisor.
    • Management Service IP Address*—The IP address of the Management Service.
    • Netmask*—The subnet mask for the subnet in which the SDX appliance is located.
    • Gateway*—The default gateway for the network.
    • DNS Server—The IP address of the DNS server.

    *A mandatory parameter

  5. Click OK.
  6. Connect the NetScaler SDX appliance to a switch to access it through the network. Browse to the IP address used above and log on with the default credentials.
  7. Apply the new licenses. For instructions, see NetScaler SDX Licensing Overview.
  8. Navigate to Configuration > System and, in the System Administration group, click Reboot Appliance. Click Yes to confirm. You are now ready to provision the VPX instances on the NetScaler SDX appliance. For instructions, see Provisioning NetScaler Instances.