Tech Blog: How to use XenServer and VMware in your CloudStack environment

Last week our tech expert, John Skinner, discussed Appcore recommendations for using a KVM hypervisor in your CloudStack environment. This week he will go one step further and discuss two additional hypervisors that can be used in a Apache CloudStack/Citrix CloudPlatform deployment. It is important as a service provider to understand which hypervisors you want to implement during the cloud architecture design phase. It is fairly common to offer multiple hypervisors, just make sure that each is set up in its own cluster. That being said, in today's blog post, John will discuss recommendation along with some hints and tips for configuring two of the most common hypervisors; XenServer and VMware.

XenServer

For XenServer integration the cloud management server will connect to XenServer on ports 80 and 443. Port 22 will also be used for pushing cloud management scripts to XenServer for remote execution during initial install and upgrades. We will need the username and password for XenServer to authenticate. The username and password must be the same on all hosts within the cluster.

Do not manually mount secondary storage on the XenServer hosts. Cloud management will handle the mounting and un-mounting of secondary storage on XenServer hosts.

Do not manually mount primary storage on the XenServer hosts. Cloud management will handle the mounting and un-mounting of primary storage on the XenServer hosts. 

VMware

For VMware integration the cloud management server will connect to the vCenter server on port 443. Please provide to Appcore a username and password that has full access to vCenter. A limited access user will cause issues with the integration into VMware.

TCP port 3922 will also need to be open on your management network for the VMware environment as this port will be used by CloudStack/CloudPlatform for communication between the management server and the virtual router system VMs.

Appcore will require at least one vSwitch to be configured in the VMware environment. We do however recommend separating your VMware management network from your guest and public networks which would require a minimum of two vSwitches. Appcore will require the name for each vSwitch and which network will use that vSwitch (for example - Management vSwitch0, guest and public vSwitch1).

If you ever change the name of the management network on VMware please supply the name of the management network (default is Management) to Appcore. This is required as the cloud management server will look for this network name.

Do not manually mount secondary storage on the VMware hosts. Cloud management will handle the mounting and un-mounting of secondary storage on VMware hosts.

For primary storage on VMware, if you plan on using an NFS datastore, do not manually add that datastore to the VMware hosts. Cloud management will take care of adding the NFS datastore for you. If you are using a datastore that has a back end other than NFS, you’ll manually add that datastore to the cluster and provide Appcore with the details on that datastore, as requested on the technical requirements questionnaire.

Hopefully this blog post gives you some insight into XenServer and VMware before you configure them in your cloud environment or add them as an addiitonal option. If you have any further questions, any of our experts would be glad to address them. 

 
photo credit: ttcopley