Bootable Hardware Detection Tool:



  • New to hypervisors. I know how to drive them. I want to learn how to work on instead of in them. My first roadblock is hardware incompatibility. I need (I believe) to be able to figure out what chip-sets and such or on generic machines that were cobbled together. After several attempt to install the express version on Citrix Hypervisor (Xen Server) and failing miserably I boiled it down to (I think) the storage chip-set is not supported. It is an Asus motherboard and has the Z77 intel chip-set. Your thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



  • Are you saying that the install of Citrix Hypervisor failed? Your question is very hard to understand.



  • If you're not going to be paying for support from Citrix, I highly recommend using XCP-ng instead.

    https://xcp-ng.org/



  • Make sure you have enabled Virtualization in the BIOS.



  • And if you are using UEFI, you're better off using XCP-ng and I also recommend using XCP-ng instead of Citrix.



  • Definitely seems like an odd choice to start with.

    I've seen reports in the past that XenServer frequently had problems working on consumer equipment because it lacked the needed drivers.



  • @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    Z77 intel

    Definitely check BIOS first and make sure virtualization is enabled, and absolutely use XCP-ng over Citrix Hypervisor in a lab scenario.

    Way more functionality and not limited based on what you can do/test/break with it.



  • @black3dynamite said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    Make sure you have enabled Virtualization in the BIOS.

    Thank you, this box previously had Hyper-V on it so good to go there.



  • @bnrstnr said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    If you're not going to be paying for support from Citrix, I highly recommend using XCP-ng instead.

    https://xcp-ng.org/

    This seems to be the direction to go. Thank you, all of you.



  • @Dashrender said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    Definitely seems like an odd choice to start with.

    I've seen reports in the past that XenServer frequently had problems working on consumer equipment because it lacked the needed drivers.

    My thought process was that we are a XenApp on ESXi shop. We used xenserver for the first year but had lots of issues so we bit the bullet and ponied up for vCenter and ESXi. C-Level wants to look at cutting cost and XenServer is much cheaper. We have always been buyers, not engineers. I would like to do more along the line of design, not just bus driver. Forgive my possible slaughter of terminology.



  • xcp-ng.org Forum

    Ask away. They'll steer you down the path.



  • Once you setup XCP-ng on your host you'll need a way to administer it, you can use the fat client (for windows) or XOA - functionally limited or the completely free built it yourself approach (scripted here) as well as this to update it.



  • @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    My thought process was that we are a XenApp on ESXi shop.

    So you're a VDI shop, while you can certainly reduce the cost of the maintenance plan for the hypervisor (and supporting software) if you're using Windows within XenApp you won't be able to reduce that cost without using a different guest OS (linux, freebsd etc).

    @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    C-Level wants to look at cutting cost and XenServer is much cheaper.

    KVM is free as well, but it doesn't have the same management interface that you can opt to use with XCP-ng or Citrix Hypervisor. It may be worth looking at if you have the time and resources.

    @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    I would like to do more along the line of design, not just bus driver.

    What needs to be engineered here? Do you have questions about how you might set this up, the storage layer, networking, etc?



  • @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    We have always been buyers, not engineers. I would like to do more along the line of design, not just bus driver. Forgive my possible slaughter of terminology.

    Sweet - I think maybe the first to admit it here. With that in mind - your company should look to an ITSP to help you actually run your IT, make sure you're buying the right stuff.

    If you're simply buying what vendors are selling, then it's possible/likely that you don't have an optimal setup, etc.

    And just because you hire an ITSP, doesn't mean you can't get education from them at the same time - just make sure that's on the table - don't just do for me, teach me at the same time - and yes, I understand this means you'll be slower, i.e. costing us more, but the point is my education.. and assuming that flies with the boss, then you're good to go.



  • As much as I'm all for xcp-ng and XO, it might be worth a check with your Citrix rep to see if you have XenServer / Hypervisor (whatever the hell they're calling it now) support as part of your VDI. I know we have certain usage and allocations for the hypervisor based on our XD and XA licensing.

    I haven't played with XCP-NG, but one thing that I'll say, having used ESXi in the past and being mostly Citrix for the past few years is that your VMs seem much closer to the metal on vmware. I've never taken the time to get into understanding the differences of the platform internals, but vmware just seems to be snappier and more..... efficient?

    Something else to consider is that if you have invested in tools or solutions that use vmware-specific features, (like Veeam B&R) it doesn't transfer to Xen (and my experience is that there's fewer tools available in the market for Xen solutions)



  • @bnrstnr said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    If you're not going to be paying for support from Citrix, I highly recommend using XCP-ng instead.

    https://xcp-ng.org/

    I'd recommend it regardless. More modern and professional. Citrix has no virtualization expertise or experience, they just sell something open source rebranded. They didn't create it nor do they own it, nor is it something that they are good at. It's not part of their skill set at all.



  • To answer the initial question, you should be able to fire up most any linux live distro and use lshw to get an inventory of your hardware details.

    It's been a while since I've done it, but live boot ubuntu or mint, jump into a terminal and

    sudo lshw >> hardware.txt
    


  • @notverypunny said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    I haven't played with XCP-NG, but one thing that I'll say, having used ESXi in the past and being mostly Citrix for the past few years is that your VMs seem much closer to the metal on vmware. I've never taken the time to get into understanding the differences of the platform internals, but vmware just seems to be snappier and more..... efficient?

    Depends on how you configure it. Xen goes way closer to the hardware than VMware ESXi does, but most people disable that feature. It's called Paravirtualization or PV. Xen is very fast, but VMware is generally the fastest. But if you can feel a difference, likely it is a configuration issue.

    You might simply be missing the PV drivers for the full virtualization mode of Xen. Xen is also highly tuned for Linux workloads, and KVM for Windows workloads. VMware is very good, but generally not as fast as KVM (at least in the past.) But there are loads of variables that would change any given experience.



  • @notverypunny said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    it doesn't transfer to Xen (and my experience is that there's fewer tools available in the market for Xen solutions)

    This is both good and bad. It's bad because you might have a specific tool that you want to use. It's good because this is mostly because VMware needs more third party tools than Xen or KVM do.

    Lots of things that are third party add ons to ESXi are just free with Xen and KVM. Often large closed source ecosystems are a symptom of the products lacking features, rather than being market leaders. Like Windows and Linux... Linux generally includes more features than the third party market makes for Windows. But if you look at how many companies make things to see as add ons, Windows has more. Not because it's better, or used more, but because it just includes less.



  • @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @bnrstnr said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    If you're not going to be paying for support from Citrix, I highly recommend using XCP-ng instead.

    https://xcp-ng.org/

    This seems to be the direction to go. Thank you, all of you.

    And as a bonus, they are community members here! And the product was first proposed here (by me.) Took a year to convince them to do it, but they eventually did 😉



  • @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @Dashrender said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    Definitely seems like an odd choice to start with.

    I've seen reports in the past that XenServer frequently had problems working on consumer equipment because it lacked the needed drivers.

    My thought process was that we are a XenApp on ESXi shop. We used xenserver for the first year but had lots of issues so we bit the bullet and ponied up for vCenter and ESXi. C-Level wants to look at cutting cost and XenServer is much cheaper. We have always been buyers, not engineers. I would like to do more along the line of design, not just bus driver. Forgive my possible slaughter of terminology.

    That's a good start to thinking. ESXi probably provides you nothing there. The problem I would see in the logic isn't that a cheaper solution should be found, but that the "cheaper" solution that they went for is not a very good one from a vendor that isn't good at that. You can get better solutions even cheaper (including free.) XCP-NG is better, for sure. And the support is probably cheaper, if you decide to pay for it (which is great, support them for sure.) But KVM is cheaper too (also free) and has some great support options.

    These days, KVM is the obvious choice for most people. Super fast, really easy to use, specifically the fastest option for Windows workloads (presumably that's what you are using XenApp for), and totally free. And super well known with all kinds of support.



  • @Dashrender said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    And just because you hire an ITSP, doesn't mean you can't get education from them at the same time - just make sure that's on the table - don't just do for me, teach me at the same time - and yes, I understand this means you'll be slower, i.e. costing us more, but the point is my education.. and assuming that flies with the boss, then you're good to go.

    For certain. Loads of our customers ask for training to go along with setups so that they understand what we are doing, why, and how to do it themselves if necessary. But keep us for asking questions and solving problems when they arise.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @Dashrender said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    Definitely seems like an odd choice to start with.
    These days,
    KVM is the obvious choice for most people. Super fast, really easy to use, specifically the fastest option for Windows workloads (presumably that's what you are using XenApp for), and totally free. And super well known with all kinds of support.

    Can I get the best jumping in link for KVM? I tried researching a couple of years ago and could never quite get it off the ground.

    THank you. 🕵



  • @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @scottalanmiller said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @Dashrender said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    Definitely seems like an odd choice to start with.
    These days,
    KVM is the obvious choice for most people. Super fast, really easy to use, specifically the fastest option for Windows workloads (presumably that's what you are using XenApp for), and totally free. And super well known with all kinds of support.

    Can I get the best jumping in link for KVM? I tried researching a couple of years ago and could never quite get it off the ground.

    THank you. 🕵

    Not sure that I have a great link, but I'd just install Fedora 31 and install the virtualization group. @DustinB3403 has the command handy, I'm packing and don't have it close at hand. But it is like a single command to get it all installed with the basics and the basic tools. Then use virt-manager either locally or remotely (over SSH) to manage it. Super easy to get the basics going.



  • @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @scottalanmiller said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @popester said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    @Dashrender said in Bootable Hardware Detection Tool::

    Definitely seems like an odd choice to start with.
    These days,
    KVM is the obvious choice for most people. Super fast, really easy to use, specifically the fastest option for Windows workloads (presumably that's what you are using XenApp for), and totally free. And super well known with all kinds of support.

    Can I get the best jumping in link for KVM? I tried researching a couple of years ago and could never quite get it off the ground.

    THank you. 🕵

    A one line installation for KVM (without explaining what it does) can be found here

    Copied below to reduce your headache. This assumes you have Fedora 31 installed and need to add the KVM functionality.

    sudo dnf group install --with-optional virtualization -y && systemctl start libvirtd && systemctl enable libvirtd



  • If you wanted some documentation on using Cockpit to administer KVM, here is some light reading.



  • This is awesome. Thank you. I am energized now.


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