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Jun 13, 2017
Chapter 1. Document Overview
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This document is a system administrator's guide for XenServer, the complete server virtualization platform from Citrix. It contains procedures to guide you through configuring a XenServer deployment. In particular, it focuses on setting up storage, networking and resource pools, and how to administer XenServer hosts using the xe command line interface.

This document covers the following topics:

  • Managing Users with Active Directory and Role Based Access Control

  • Creating Resource Pools and setting up High Availability

  • Configuring and Managing Storage Repositories

  • Configuring Virtual Machine Memory using Dynamic Memory Control

  • Setting Control Domain Memory on a XenServer host

  • Configuring Networking

  • Recovering Virtual Machines using Disaster Recovery and Backing Up Data

  • Monitoring XenServer Performance Metrics and Configuring Alerts

  • Troubleshooting XenServer

  • Using the XenServer xe command line interface

XenServer is the complete server virtualization platform from Citrix. The XenServer package contains all you need to create and manage a deployment of virtual x86 computers running on Xen, the open-source paravirtualizing hypervisor with near-native performance. XenServer is optimized for both Windows and Linux virtual servers.

XenServer runs directly on server hardware without requiring an underlying operating system, which results in an efficient and scalable system. XenServer works by abstracting elements from the physical machine (such as hard drives, resources and ports) and allocating them to the virtual machines running on it.

A virtual machine (VM) is a computer composed entirely of software that can run its own operating system and applications as if it were a physical computer. A VM behaves exactly like a physical computer and contains its own virtual (software-based) CPU, RAM, hard disk and network interface card (NIC).

XenServer lets you create VMs, take VM disk snapshots and manage VM workloads. For a comprehensive list of major XenServer features, visit

Using XenServer reduces costs by:

  • Consolidating multiple VMs onto physical servers

  • Reducing the number of separate disk images that need to be managed

  • Allowing for easy integration with existing networking and storage infrastructures

Using XenServer increases flexibility by:

  • Allowing you to schedule zero downtime maintenance by using XenMotion to live migrate VMs between XenServer hosts

  • Increasing availability of VMs by using High Availability to configure policies that restart VMs on another XenServer host if one fails

  • Increasing portability of VM images, as one VM image will work on a range of deployment infrastructures

There are two methods by which to administer XenServer: XenCenter and the XenServer Command-Line Interface (CLI).

XenCenter is a graphical, Windows-based user interface. XenCenter allows you to manage XenServer hosts, pools and shared storage, and to deploy, manage and monitor VMs from your Windows desktop machine.

The XenCenter on-line Help is a useful resource for getting started with XenCenter and for context-sensitive assistance.

The XenServer Command-line Interface (CLI) allows you to administer XenServer using the Linux-based xe commands.

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