When I bring up XenServer a lot of people feel that it's down for the count in the hypervisor world, but I still think there's life in it! :-) It recently went open source and can be downloaded from either Citrix or XenServer.org. I'm still asked from time to time about how to use Nimble Storage with XenServer, so I thought it would be a good idea to create some blogs on the topic. I'd really be interested in hearing if you use XenServer, in what part of your business and what made you decide to use it.
Well then, on to creating some LUNs!
First let's create our initiator group so our Nimble array knows who our XenServer host is.
1. Let's grab our initiator IQN from XenServer so we can create our initiator group on the Nimble array. Click on your XenServer server, click on the General tab and copy down the iSCSI IQN.
2. Next go to your Nimble Storage array and click on the manage and select initiator groups. Click on New Initiator Group.
3. Give our initiator group a name and click on the Add Initiator button. Enter in the iSCSI iqn that you copied from XenServer and than click on OK and OK again.
Excellent, now the array and XenServer will be able to talk. Now lets create a volume!
4. Click on Manage and select Volumes.
5. Now click on New Volume.
Okay, from here your mileage will vary since there are a bunch of different things you can do to optimize your volume, so I'm going to point out the highlights.
6. Give your volume a name and select the initiator group you just created. Click Next.
7. Enter the size of your volume. Click Next.
8. Next create your protection policy. This is just a test, so I'm not going to create one.
Outstanding, the volume and initiator group is created, we're ready to add storage to XenServer!
9. In the Nimble Array, go to Manage, Array.
10. Here we're looking for the storage network our array and XenServer should be talking over. Copy the Target Discovery IP Address, we're going to need it soon.
11. Go to XenCenter, click on your server, then click on the Storage tab and then the New SR button.
12. Select Software iSCSI as your Virtual disk storage. Click Next.
13. Give the new SR or Storage Repository a name.
14. Remember that Target Discovery IP Address you wrote down from the Nimble Array? Paste it into the Target Host. Next click on Discover IQNs and Discover LUNs. The LUN you just created should be discovered. Click Finish.
15. Now since this is a new LUN being attached XenServer, it will most likely want to format the LUN so XenServer can use it.
WARNING: Make sure you don't have any data on this LUN that you want keep!
Until Next Time!