XenServer Troubleshooting for VMware Engineers Part 1

I thought it would be helpful for all of the engineers out there that have a VMware ESX background and are starting to implement Citrix XenServer. There are a lot of similarities between the two virtualization platforms.

One of the issues I ran into recently was the changes made to a host via the cmd line not displaying in the XenCenter management console. To fix this you can issue the “xetoolstackrestart” command to restart the management stack on the XenServer host.

This command is the first thing you should try if there is any type host connectivity or pool issue in XenCenter.

This is similar to the VMware ESX cmd “service mgmt-vmware restart”.

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Mandatory User Profiles in Windows 2008 Terminal Server and XenApp 5

Some of you may have already known about the mandatory profile change in Windows 2008 but I had no idea. I recently did my first Citrix XenApp 5 – Windows 2008 project and had a hard time getting the mandatory profile working.

After some searching I found that the mandatory profile folder name has to have a “.v2” appended to the end of the folder name. The reason Microsoft made this change is because the user profile sturcture in Vista and Windows 2008 is a lot different than in previous versions of Windows. By forcing you to append .v2 to the end of the folder prevents Windows 2008 from trying to load a profile from a previous version of Windows.

It was a little tricky configuring Group Policy to point to the mandatory profile with a .v2 on the folder name. When I first configured the “Set path for TS Roaming User Profile” setting I set it to %logonserver%\netlogon\xenapp-prof.v2. This didn’t work, I had to set the profile path to %logonserver%\netlogon\xenapp-prof and then Windows 2008 automatically appends .v2 to the end when looking for the path.

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So to recap,

  1. I created a mandatory profile with the folder name “xenapp-prof.v2”.
  2. I configured my profile path to point to “%logonserver%\netlogon\xenapp-prof”. If you configure the profile path with a .v2 it will not work.