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Upgrade XenServer 7.0 and 7.2 to the latest available


Jasmin Kahriman

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Hi folks, 

 

I inherited 6 XenServers running on different servers models (Dell, HP, IBM), different hardware configuration in terms of CPU, RAM and disk size and different XenServer versions (7.0 and 7.2).  There are 50+ VMs hosted on servers´ internal hard disks. Servers are managed via XenCenter 7.6. I have a few doubts and I´d appreciate your help here. 

 

How I can check if there is cluster pool configured and what servers are part of that pool?

 

I want to upgrade servers from 7.0 and 7.2 to the latest version, based on my research and what I see under "Notifications - Updates" the latest version is 8.2. What would be the best way of upgrading it?

 

Is it better to upgrade it incrementally or I can easily upgrade from 7.0 to 8.2?

 

Do I lose any functionalities if I upgrade from 7.0 and 7.2 to 8.2?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Best regards

Yaz

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22 answers to this question

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Yaz,

As long as you are licensed with a paid-for version, functionality will be retained, otherwise you may lose a number of features.

For an upgrade guide see: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-hypervisor/install/upgrade.html

There are options for upgrading from as low as 7.0 with a cumulative hotfix - see the details in the document lined above for details.

 

Before any upgrade, may absolutely sure you first install XenCenter with at least the version associated with the highest release you intend to upgrade to!

 

-=Tobias

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On 10/1/2020 at 8:42 PM, Tobias Kreidl said:

Yaz,

As long as you are licensed with a paid-for version, functionality will be retained, otherwise you may lose a number of features.

For an upgrade guide see: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-hypervisor/install/upgrade.html

There are options for upgrading from as low as 7.0 with a cumulative hotfix - see the details in the document lined above for details.

 

Before any upgrade, may absolutely sure you first install XenCenter with at least the version associated with the highest release you intend to upgrade to!

 

-=Tobias

Hi Tobias,

 

I do have a question about your statement "Before any upgrade, may absolutely sure you first install XenCenter with at least the version associated with the highest release you intend to upgrade to!". 

 

Currently I am running XenServers 7.6. on my Windows 10. Can I immediately install XenCenter 8.x and manage my XenServers 7.0 and 7.2?

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I´m still looking for the support on these questions: 

 

How can I verify I am running cluster pool in my XenServer environment?

I´m running 6 XenServers (2 x 7.0 and 4 x 7.2) on different servers (Dell PowerEdge 310, Dell PowerEdge 710 and HP Proliant. 

 

Is it better to upgrade it incrementally or I can easily upgrade from 7.0 to 8.2?

 

I´m planning to upgrade firmware iDRAC, BIOS and Lifecycle Controller on Dell servers. Do I need to do it before the XenServer Upgrade or before?

 

Many thanks.

Yaz

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Your question about XenCenter, I would upgrade to the latest 8.2 version and it should be fine with 8.x and 7.x hosts/pools. Not sure

about the 6.x releases, but a guess is they should work. 

 

To verify a cluster pool

1) run xe host-list. If you see only one server it is a single host in its own pool in theory. Multiple hosts listed are all part of the same pool.

   In XenCenter the icon for the host will look slightly different. If the icon is one single block its a single host, if it looks like two squares

  its a pool of multiple hosts. Clicking the + by the green circle will list the servers in a pool, but just VM's for a single host.

 

2) 7.0, no. Personally I would install 8.2 fresh. Much easier to do if you have a pool and plenty of SR storage. On single servers that becomes

    a little more difficult.  Much easier to do also if you have multiple free physical servers to work with.  Backups are very important before

   doing upgrades.

 

3) I would do all firmware upgrades before doing the 8.2 clean install. Remember clean installs wipe local storage so you want to be 

    careful.

 

--Alan--

 

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There is I think a way to go from 7.0 to 8.2 but I agree, that as long as you can re-attach your external storage, it's easier to do a fresh install. The thing to weigh is whether or not you can afford any downtime or not.  If not already, make sure you go for the new partition layout, which may not be so easy if you are doing an upgrade instead of a clean instll and have not already switched to the new partitioning scheme. In that case, I would just upgrade and then selectively eject each host and do a re-install with the new partition layout and then rejoin to the pool.

 

Unfortunately, Citrix deleted my articles about XenServer upgrades and dealing with the new partition when xenserver.org was pruned down to the bare bones.

 

-=Tobias

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9 hours ago, Alan Lantz said:

Your question about XenCenter, I would upgrade to the latest 8.2 version and it should be fine with 8.x and 7.x hosts/pools. Not sure

about the 6.x releases, but a guess is they should work. 

 

To verify a cluster pool

1) run xe host-list. If you see only one server it is a single host in its own pool in theory. Multiple hosts listed are all part of the same pool.

   In XenCenter the icon for the host will look slightly different. If the icon is one single block its a single host, if it looks like two squares

  its a pool of multiple hosts. Clicking the + by the green circle will list the servers in a pool, but just VM's for a single host.

 

2) 7.0, no. Personally I would install 8.2 fresh. Much easier to do if you have a pool and plenty of SR storage. On single servers that becomes

    a little more difficult.  Much easier to do also if you have multiple free physical servers to work with.  Backups are very important before

   doing upgrades.

 

3) I would do all firmware upgrades before doing the 8.2 clean install. Remember clean installs wipe local storage so you want to be 

    careful.

 

--Alan--

 

 Hi Alan,

 

Your answers are very helpful. 

 

I executed xe host-list on each server and it seems they are not part of the cluster pool.  Every server shows the same output. 

[root@xenserver~]# xe host-list
uuid ( RO)                : xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
          name-label ( RW): xenserver
    name-description ( RW): Default install

 

One question popped into my mind when thinking about cluster. In order to create a cluster pool, is it required to run the same XenServer version and same or similar hardware?

 

My XenCenter shows single hosts without cluster pool. - please check the attachment. 

 

Is it possible that other IT person that is managing XenServers via XenCenter can see the cluster pool in his/her XenCenter even if I don't see it?


If there is a cluster pool and I decide to add servers one by one into the XenCenter, the cluster pool will be shown in the XenCenter?

 

Considering I don't have cluster pool, I´ll not be able to do fresh installation, but upgrade to the newer version. Or maybe I can migrate VMs to another server, perform clean installation and than move it back. Why do you think?

 

Thank you.

 


 

 

XenCenter.png

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9 hours ago, Tobias Kreidl said:

There is I think a way to go from 7.0 to 8.2 but I agree, that as long as you can re-attach your external storage, it's easier to do a fresh install. The thing to weigh is whether or not you can afford any downtime or not.  If not already, make sure you go for the new partition layout, which may not be so easy if you are doing an upgrade instead of a clean instll and have not already switched to the new partitioning scheme. In that case, I would just upgrade and then selectively eject each host and do a re-install with the new partition layout and then rejoin to the pool.

 

Unfortunately, Citrix deleted my articles about XenServer upgrades and dealing with the new partition when xenserver.org was pruned down to the bare bones.

 

-=Tobias

I can afford downtime, so I´ll probably go with the normal upgrade procedure. Thank you. 

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6 hours ago, Alan Lantz said:

To say the loss of those Tobias upgrade articles was unfortunate is an understatement.

 

--Alan--

 

Thanks for your kind words, Alan. And Citrix never took me up on re-publishing them on their blog site like they said they would. :-(

I did make some sort of copy of them all and squirreled them away, so they do exist is some form or the other, but sadly, not accessible by the public at large.

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How I can check if there is cluster pool configured and what servers are part of that pool?

 

xe host-list

 

should show you what hosts you have. The cluster and cluster-host objects can be listed with the standard object listing commands

xe cluster-list

and

xe cluster-host-list

 

I want to upgrade servers from 7.0 and 7.2 to the latest version, based on my research and what I see under "Notifications - Updates" the latest version is 8.2. What would be the best way of upgrading it?

 

You should be able to upgrade directly. Make sure you first install a newer version of XenCenter that is at least compatible with 8.2.  The process should be straightforward as long as your hardware is all compatible and you can fit all your running VMs on one fewer hosts tha you have active on the pool.

 

Is it better to upgrade it incrementally or I can easily upgrade from 7.0 to 8.2?

 

You can upgrade from XenServer 7.1 Cumulative Update 2 (LTSR) or 7.0 to Citrix Hypervisor 8.2 by using the Base Installation ISO. For details,

see: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-hypervisor/install/upgrade.html

 

Do I lose any functionalities if I upgrade from 7.0 and 7.2 to 8.2?

 

Not as long as you are still licensed with a paid-for license.

 

-=Tobias

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On 10/8/2020 at 5:01 PM, Tobias Kreidl said:

How I can check if there is cluster pool configured and what servers are part of that pool?

 

xe host-list

 

should show you what hosts you have. The cluster and cluster-host objects can be listed with the standard object listing commands

xe cluster-list

and

xe cluster-host-list

 

I want to upgrade servers from 7.0 and 7.2 to the latest version, based on my research and what I see under "Notifications - Updates" the latest version is 8.2. What would be the best way of upgrading it?

 

You should be able to upgrade directly. Make sure you first install a newer version of XenCenter that is at least compatible with 8.2.  The process should be straightforward as long as your hardware is all compatible and you can fit all your running VMs on one fewer hosts tha you have active on the pool.

 

Is it better to upgrade it incrementally or I can easily upgrade from 7.0 to 8.2?

 

You can upgrade from XenServer 7.1 Cumulative Update 2 (LTSR) or 7.0 to Citrix Hypervisor 8.2 by using the Base Installation ISO. For details,

see: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-hypervisor/install/upgrade.html

 

Do I lose any functionalities if I upgrade from 7.0 and 7.2 to 8.2?

 

Not as long as you are still licensed with a paid-for license.

 

-=Tobias

Hi Tobias,

 

Just tried to executed commands, but I get error "Unknown command". - please check the attachment. 

XenCenter.png

 

I can execute xe host-list without any problems. 

2020_10_09_20_23_22_XenCenter.png

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3 hours ago, Tobias Kreidl said:

"xe host-list" should show you what servers are in a pool under 7.X.

Hi Tobias, 

 

I executed "xe host-list" on each server and this is what I got. According to my understanding, there is not cluster created. Can you please confirm if I´m right?

 

2020_10_09_20_23_22_XenCenter.png

 

Also, when I access my servers in XenCenter, this is how it looks like. 

XenCenter.png.8d5747d5930123c20d28a9c9f015ca8e.png

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On 10/8/2020 at 12:55 AM, Alan Lantz said:

I'm about 75% migrated to VMWare at this point, but still hate to see useful information disappear into the ether.

 

--Alan--

 

When our backup solution allows it, we probably migrate to XCP-ng which is not 110 % focussed on VDI and has a PM that is listening to peoples needs. Over all the years I got the impression that Citrix gives a ... about that.

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