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Thread: Windows Server 2008 r2 on XenServer 5.5

  1. #1

    Cool Windows Server 2008 r2 on XenServer 5.5

    REQUIREMENTS
    • VT capable OVH server (All OVH & Kimisufi except C-05g)
    • Host must have enough RAM and HD for Windows minimum requirements
    • Working install of XenServer installed on Host
    • NFS ISO Server/repository - Static IP Linux VPS or server with 10-50gb free space
    • Access to Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 setup ISOs
    • Local Windows XP pro, Vista Pro or Win7 local computer to run Citrix XENCENTER control panel software and Remote Desktop
    • Access to OVH Manager admin account to assign failover IPs

    After successfully creating Debian VPS slices on my XenServer, I decided to try getting some Windows flavors going on my slices. Here's a tutorial on how I managed to get a Windows server 2008 R2 VM slice runnning using OVH's Alpha version of XenServer in conjunction with XenCenter for Windows management client. Like most, I was excited to see the Windows templates available in XenServer after installation, only to find that they are empty containers. I got the "No Boot Device" Error after creating my Windows VM's. So I searched around for some answers.

    I have also gotten a 32 Bit Version of Windows 7 Enterprise going as well which is a personal copy that I uploaded to my NFS ISO server. I'm sure many have been able to do this as well, and I look forward to any suggestions on how I could streamline and simplfy my Windows installs. But since I haven't seen many tuts here, I decided to add my experience. Follow along carefully, because even one step missed could lock up the whole process!!

    ASSIGN Virtual MAC addresses
    Before starting this project, it's wise to assign your failover IP's new mac addresses and names in your OVH manager. Since we are using XenServer

    WINDOWS ISO's
    Since OVH and Xenserver don't have ISO versions of Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 in the Xen ISO repository, we'll have to get copies for ourselves. Many versions of Windows are freely available to download from M$ themselves.
    Of course you'll have to purchase a serial key in order to activate the software. Although I can't help that portion of this tutorial, I will say that Google and the nice folks at Win7Vista are of immense help in undestanding all of it.

    NFS server
    Once you have working ISO versions of Windows server 2008 or Windows 7 available, you'll create an ISO NFS share on 2nd linux computer or VPS share. It must have it's own IP address.. I found that I had to create one outside of the server domain controller in the folder: /var/opt/xen/iso_import, because I quickly ran out of space.
    I also tried to create an NFS server in my Windows 7 local computer, but couldn't get the configuration down. The software created for NFS use is clunky and difficult to use. I settled on sharing a portion of a spare Debian 4 VPS I had available. Here's what I did..

    On the Debian VPS that I'm creating the NFS server
    Code:
    mkdir /any/share/directory/for/ISOs
    example: /home/vps_iso

    Then I install NFS server and it's dependencies:
    Code:
    apt-get install nfs-kernel-server nfs-common portmap
    NFS Server Configuration
    NFS exports from a server are controlled by the file /etc/exports. Each line begins with the absolute path of a directory to be exported, followed by a space-seperated list of allowed clients.
    Code:
    nano /etc/exports
    Edit the file according to the example format
    Code:
    /home/vps_iso xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx(rw) www.first.com(ro)
    /usr xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx(ro)
    • Where /home/vps_iso is the share
    • Where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the computer you'll be connecting from (The Host where Windows will reside). In this case I was connecting through my Kimsufi host server that I was running XenServer 5.5 on..
    • Where "<www.first.com>" is an OPTIONAL second client server that needs access to the NFS share. You can use an IP address as well.
    • Where "ro" is Read-Only and "rw" is Read-Write Access to the directory.


    Code:
    Crtl+X, Y and enter to CLOSE and SAVE
    Force NFS to reread the config file
    Code:
    exportfs -r
    Now I had to get my ISOs to my share on the NFS server. The easiest way i found was to use wget.
    On my NFS server:

    Code:
    cd /home/vps_iso
    wget http://care.dlservice.microsoft.com/download/7/5/E/75EC4E54-5B02-42D6-8879-D8D3A25FBEF7/7600.16385.090713-1255_x64fre_server_eval_en-us-GRMSXEVAL_EN_DVD.iso
    Or via FTP
    Code:
    wget ftp://username:password@xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/FTP/Path/To/Windows_Server_2008_r2.iso
    Once it's finished, I rename it to something more manageable:
    Code:
    mv 7600.16385.090713-1255_x64fre_server_eval_en-us-GRMSXEVAL_EN_DVD.iso Windows_Server_2008_r2.iso
    Last edited by brgroup; 01-01-2010 at 07:57.

  2. #2

    Cool Re: Windows Server 2008 r2 on XenServer 5.5

    Now time to add the NFS share so it's accessible to XenCenter.
    On your Windows machine, go to XenCenter.
    If you don't have XenCenter yet, you can get it here: XenCenter
    Here's an install guide in case: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX118531
    • Highlight your main server (not an active VM)
    • Click on STORAGE | NEW STORAGE REPOSITORY
    • For Type, choose NFS ISO at the bottom
    • Create a Name for your NFS share
    • Type in the share name:
      server:/path/to/your/ISO/share (ie;xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:/home/vps_iso - Where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is your NFS server IP address)
    • Choose Finish

    Your Xencenter should connect and a Storage repository should be created and show on the left side of Xencenter under your Server.

    Time to create a Windows VM in your Windows XenCenter control panel. Hit next after each section
    1. Choose New VM
    2. In the Template section choose Windows server R2 x64 or Windows 7
    3. Create a Name for the VM
    4. In Location, click the ISO radio buttion and make sure your "Windows_Server_2008_r2.iso" is chosen from the drop down.
    5. Choose yur CPU and Memory options
    6. Highlight the existing virtual disk and create a disk size you like
    7. In Virtual Network Interface, replace "AutoGenerated" mac address with the Mac address you created for this VM in OVH manager. (IMPORTANT)
    8. UNCHECK "Start VM automatically" and Click Finish to create your VM.

    Click on the Console tab of your VM to finish setting Windows up.

    Xen and Windows 7 Hang at initialize workaround
    For some reason there was a documentedproblem with Windows 7 freezing at setup on Xen-Server 5.0 and 5.5. Here's a work around we'll perform before we create our VM's just in case.
    NOTE: I didn't have to do this for Windows Server 2008.
    In XenCenter:
    • Highlight your Windows 7 VM install
    • In the General Tab, look for your VM's UUID
    • Highlight and Right-Click | Copy the UUID

    SSH connect to your Host server via Putty and type the following command as root, entering your UUID where indicated. NO QUOTES or SPACE after "=":
    Code:
    xe vm-param-set uuid="Insert vmuuid Here" platform:viridian=false
    Close Putty

    XENCENTER and WINDOWS!
    Be patient for the next half-hour or so, because the Console is extremely slow in rendering the Windows graphics. This is because XenCenter uses a really slow version of vnc to give you a GUI in the console.So Mouse moves and clicking are very very slow. Youve been warned From now on, the goal is to get Windows installed, fix the networking and activate Remote Desktop to manage the VM with a faster GUI.

    I mean it, it's really slow and very annoying.

    In Xencenter, highlight your Windows VM
    • Right-Click and Start your VM
    • Click on the Console Tab and wait for the GUI

    Installation Observations
    • Be sure to choose "Custom Install" and not Upgrade, otherwise, the installer will tell you to start setup from an existing Windows session and you'll have to start all over.
    • Depending on your Windows version, install should be very familiar.
    • Once Windows begins installing, the VM may shutdown and reboot into setup. I had the ramdom disconnect problem more in Windows7 64Bit and it's one of the reason I went to Win7 32bit. Just wait a few minutes and restart the VM in xenCenter. Once you are reconnected, go back to the VM's Console and continue.
    • You'll have to create an Administrator password before logging in.


    Your shiny new Windows Server desktop will load up. In Windows Server 2008 R2, you may be presented with the Server Manager Console. If so, you can Adjust your IP address, and turn on Remote Desktop from there. If not then:

    Networking
    Windows creates a DHCP networking connection by default. We need to change the properties of the network interface "Local Area Connection" to use our static IP associated with the Virtual MAC address we created earlier otherwise we won't be able to connect remotely.
    Step By Step:
    • Click START | CONTROL PANEL | NETWORK AND SHARING CENTER
    • At Connections, click LOCAL AREA CONNECTION to see the properties
    • Click PROPERTIES
    • UNCHECK the IPV6 connection we won't use that
    • Highlight IPV4 and click PROPERTIES to edit the IPV4 settings
    • Click the 'USE THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS" radio button
    • Insert your IP Address info (note that the IP and gateway are the same!!):
      Code:
      IP Address: 123.123.123.123
      Netmask: 255.255.255.0
      Gateway: 123.123.123.123
    • Click "Use the Following DNS Servers"
    • Insert your chosen DNS servers. I use Google:
      Code:
      Preferred DNS= 8.8.8.8
      Alternate DNS= 8.8.4.4
    • Click apply and close 2x to get out of it all.

    At this point Windows should find your IP address and get you connected to the internet. One way to check is the bottom RH corner by the clock. Hover your mouse over the network connection. and it should say something like "Unidentified Network -Internet Access"

  3. #3

    Cool Re: Windows Server 2008 r2 on XenServer 5.5

    REMOTE DESKTOP
    It's important to get out of the XenCenter Console asap to do some real adminstrating.
    • Click START | CONTROL PANEL | SYSTEM
    • Click REMOTE SETTINGS on the Left
    • UNCHECK Remote Assistance
    • Check ALLOW from Network Level RD's (more secure)
    • Click OK
    • Close the control panel window


    Windows Firewall (Windows Server 2008 R2)
    Double check your firewall settings for RDC. Windows should've created a rule for you opening the port when you activated RDC. If not, you'll have to open the ports for RDC to work.
    • Run START | CONTROL PANEL
    • Under System and Security, Click "Check Firewall Status"
    • Choose "Allow a program through firewall" on left panel
    • Make sure remote desktop is checked for both Public and Home/Work networks

    NOTE: you may have to disable the Windows firewall if you can't get connected via RDC.

    On your Windows local machine fire up Remote Desktop and lets see if we can connect.
    • Go to START | ALL PROGRAMS | ACCESSORIES | REMOTE DESKTOP CONNECTION
    • Click the OPTIONS drop down box
    • Add your IP in Computer: 123.123.123.123
    • Add your username that you created during setup of your Windows Server
    • Click Save and Connect

    If all went well, you should see the connection configuring and a login prompt should appear for you to insert your password.

    XEN-TOOLS update
    By default, OVH's xen-server kernel uses slower non-optimized drivers for video and networking. We are going to update our VM with xen-tools to get the latest drivers. A very documented problem is that xen-tools breaks the networking on Windows, which is why I had to connect via RDC to make sure everything is working before installiing the Xen-Tools update. One big problem is that the Citrix network driver creates a second "Local Area Connection" which conflicts with the original one. The static IP's conflict so we'll remove the Static Ip from "Local Area Connection" before we upgrade.
    OK, here we go:
    In XENCENTER:
    • Highlight your RUNNING Windows Server VM
    • From the top toolbar choose VM | INSTALL TOOLS
    • Click OK when it asks if you want to add xen-tools to the virtual DVD drive


    In your WINDOWS SERVER RDC session: Open Windows Explorer from the taskbar dawn below.
    [list][*]Click COMPUTER from the left[*]Double Click on the CD drive to install XENSETUP.EXE[*]When finished DON'T reboot. Choose manually later.

    We need to fix the static IP issue before rebooting
    • Click START | CONTROL PANEL | NETWORK AND INTERNET
    • Choose "View Network Status"
    • At Connections, click LOCAL AREA CONNECTION to see the properties
    • Click PROPERTIES
    • Highlight IPV4 and click PROPERTIES to edit the IPV4 settings
    • Click the 'OBTAIN ADDRESS AUTOMATICALLY" radio button
    • Click close 2x to get out of it


    The Remote desktop session will seem to freeze. That's because the internet connection to the VM has been severed.

    Restart from Xencenter
    Go back to your CONSOLE in XenCenter
    and choose RESTART from the red button at the bottom right.

    Give it a few minutes and Reconnect with Remote desktop and your good to go!

    That's it! be sure to activate Windows Server with a license before using it as a production server!!!

    Last edited by brgroup; 01-01-2010 at 03:33.

  4. #4

    Re: Windows Server 2008 r2 on XenServer 5.5

    tried repeatedly but server did not connect to the internet

  5. #5

    Re: Windows Server 2008 r2 on XenServer 5.5

    Here's an alternate config page to try:
    OVH Bridge Client settings

    FYI regarding Kimsufi: Personally, I've had nothing but trouble with Kimsufi and VM's using Virtual Macs from OVH, including slow connection and dropouts on one Q1T server, and a 2T that completely does NOT connect to the internet or the host in any instance. Both are failures for us and will not be renewed. Be care ful if you have one and plan to use this setup in a production environment.

    And don't count on getting quick support response in regards to the Virtual Mac feature. As they say, it's in beta and not reliable. Look around in the DediForum for more threads and user experiences regarding this.

    Otherwise, on the EG series server that we have, this setup as well as the Debian setup I posted works great.
    Last edited by brgroup; 24-01-2010 at 17:44.

  6. #6

    Re: Windows Server 2008 r2 on XenServer 5.5

    Quote Originally Posted by brgroup View Post
    Here's an alternate config page to try:
    OVH Bridge Client settings

    FYI regarding Kimsufi: Personally, I've had nothing but trouble with Kimsufi and VM's using Virtual Macs from OVH, including slow connection and dropouts on one Q1T server, and a QT that completely does NOT connect to the internet or the host in any instance. Both are failures for us and will not be renewed. Be care ful if you have one and plan to use this setup in a production environment.

    And don't count on getting quick support response in regards to the Virtual Mac feature. As they say, it's in beta and not reliable. Look around in the DediForum for more threads and user experiences regarding this.

    Otherwise, on the EG series server that we have, this setup as well as the Debian setup I posted works great.
    im on EG-Max at the moment, do you have MSN or Skype so i can pick your brains?

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