22 July 2012

Updating XenServer to 6.0.2

I have written before about how much I like XenServer. That I don't write about it much is testament to how well it works. However, I needed to upgrade from 6.0 to XenServer 6.0.2 and although I understood you could either do it through the (windows only - boo!) UI or via a CD I chose to do it via the UI.

First problem: Update Via Rolling Pool Upgrade doesn't work.
I found the answer on this thread on http://forums.citrix.com/ which was that having downloaded the 6.0.2 iso you need to update the UI to 6.0.2 first then do the Pool update. Thanks to Richard Walker for that answer. Now if only that was in the docs...

Second Problem: NFS share returns "invalid URL to installer files".
NFS Shares are only available on certain editions of Windows: 2008, 2012, 8 Enterprise. There are third party applications available e.g. haneWIN NFS Server. On Mac OSX10.5+ it is available natively but you might find it easier to use a GUI tool like NFSManager

Third ProblemStorage_access failed with: SR_BACKEND_FAILURE_222:  Could not mount the directory specified in Device Configuration
The Solution: Re-burn the ISO and boot from it.
  1. Start Disk Utility
  1. Click the Burn button and follow the instructions. 
Final Problem: I hadn't uninstalled the previous XenServer Tools on the clients and this seemed to cause some problems when I tried to login to the VMs to update it, so I'd advise uninstalling the previous version's tools before you begin.

Having read the documentation I selected Tools; Update Pool, but when I went to select my server it wouldn't let me.

Having overcome the Rolling Pool selection problem above I thought I was home free, but no chance. I had a Windows share with ISOs on it which I intended to use as the source for the upgrade files but when I select NFS and enter the path in the form \\[server name]\path it returns invalid URL as above. It did this whatever I entered: IPs, extended server name, netbios name, uppercase, lowercase, mixed case etc etc.

So, my patience wearing thin, I tried the manual route: I burn the contents of the extracted ISOonto disk (NB: not the ISO itself) and put it in the drive. I then when to Citrix XenCenter and selected Tools, Rolling Pool Upgrade, Manual. It re-booted the server and told me I'd be informed when to insert the drive. It rebooted and the interface just looked normal i.e. no 'insert disk' or 'upgrading'. Then after a time the UI returned the error above.

It turns out I hadn't burnt the iso properly on my mac, instead of burning the image I'd managed to extract the files and then burn them. What can I say I'm a Mac newbie!

Citrix: You have a great product in XenServer but please make the upgrade path a bit easier: I am not alone in struggling with it.

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