Posts Tagged ‘cloudstack’

Netscaler 10.x, XenServer 6.2 and Cloudstack

November 1, 2013

Quick tech note. After my Cloudstack testbed upgrade my Netscaler VMs no longer booted. The issue was similar to the one described in CTX135226 but affected both Netscaler 9.3 and 10.1 VMs.

After wasting a few good hours it turns out that this is caused by the presence of a DVD drive in the VM. The mere presence of a DVD drive, even if no ISO is loaded, somehow messes up with the Netscaler boot process under XenServer 6.2. The workaround is trivial:

  1. 1. Spot the DVD drive (hdd) using the vbd-list command

  2. # xe vbd-list vm-name-label=NetScaler\ Virtual\ Appliance
    uuid ( RO) : 5e218b95-68e9-37b2-860f-8b97678e2c02
    vm-uuid ( RO): ab229b8f-2b18-4931-b80b-30ab8265b843
    vm-name-label ( RO): NetScaler Virtual Appliance
    vdi-uuid ( RO): 5bcf6d76-1d2f-411a-9dd7-469aad0f86ae
    empty ( RO): false
    device ( RO): hdd

    uuid ( RO) : 9d6ff62c-93fa-3af5-b4b5-c5c66a0556e4
    vm-uuid ( RO): ab229b8f-2b18-4931-b80b-30ab8265b843
    vm-name-label ( RO): NetScaler Virtual Appliance
    vdi-uuid ( RO): 7b1fa1ff-7388-4e5a-8c67-00e4d943a470
    empty ( RO): false
    device ( RO): hda

  3. Destroy it

  4. # xe vbd-destroy uuid=5e218b95-68e9-37b2-860f-8b97678e2c02

  5. 3. Power on the Netscaler VM again; this time it should work like a charm

This is good enough if you have access to the XenServer running the VM. Not as good of a workaround for a Cloudstack environment which requires you to jump a few extra hoops. Specifically, if you are using XenServer you can update the StartAnswer method to selectively invoke the createVbd function in if the guest OS type evaluate the guest OS type matches “Other install media” and the disk type is ISO skip VBD creation. Here is the relevant sample code snippet:

public StartAnswer execute(StartCommand cmd) {
String guestOsTypeName = getGuestOsType(vmSpec.getOs(), vmSpec.getBootloader() == BootloaderType.CD);
for (DiskTO disk : vmSpec.getDisks()) {
if (type == Volume.Type.ISO && gguestOsTypeName.toLowerCase().contains("other install media")) {
s_logger.debug("mperedim: skipping VBD creation");
} else {
createVbd(conn, disk, vmName, vm, vmSpec.getBootloader());

One can improve this workaround by mapping Netscaler VPXs to a dedicated OS template, so that DVD drives are still created for other VMs that get mapped to the “Other install media” XS template.

Cloudstack: OS type & xenserver templates

March 6, 2013

I’ve been using cloudstack for circa a month now for virtualising Solaris workloads. It has been mostly working like a charm, once I applied the appropriate workarounds (cf. my relevant findings, courtesy of my IoannisB citrix identity). However one thing has been bugging me for some time:

# xe vm-list name-label=i-2-271-VM params=name-description
name-description ( RW) : Template which allows VM installation from install media

My Solaris VMs are launched using the generic Xenserver template. This is not really to my liking for two reasons. Firstly, I have to apply the viridian:false modification to the default template. Secondly, there is no reason to appreciate whether a VM is a Solaris one or not using the Xenserver CLI.

The fix is to have Cloudstack using the “Solaris 10 (experimental)” template for my Solaris workloads.

  1. Download the cloudstack source code and uncompress to a folder of your choice.
  2. Apply a rather simple diff to the file:
    $ diff
    > _xenServer600GuestOsMap.put("Sun Solaris 10(64-bit)", "Solaris 10 (experimental)");
    > _xenServer602GuestOsMap.put("Sun Solaris 10(64-bit)", "Solaris 10 (experimental)");
  3. Build the JAR files, per the instructions in the Cloudstack installation guide page 16. No need to build DEB or RPM packages
  4. Replace /usr/share/java/cloud-plugin-hypervisor-xen.jar with cloud-plugin-hypervisor-xen-4.0.0-incubating-SNAPSHOT.jar that was built in the step above
  5. Restart the management server.

Slashdot geeks may want to add a Step-6: Profit. Launch again a Solaris 10 64-bit template and enjoy:

# xe vm-list name-label=i-2-272-VM params=name-description
name-description ( RW) : Clones of this template will automatically provision their storage when first booted and then reconfigure themselves with the optimal settings for Solaris 10 (experimental).