From the Citrix XenServer Administrator's Guide…

Home Forums Miscellaneous Tutorials How to Prepare a XenServer Host’s Network Interfaces From the Citrix XenServer Administrator's Guide…

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      Eric Pretorious

      While I was working on the methodology for managing the PXS Lab this weekend – because that’s just another task associated with publishing a Web site about complex technologies that I had never anticipated – I came across this text in Chapter 4.4.3 of the Citrix XenServer® 6.5 Service Pack 1 Administrator’s Guide that explains the concept in nearly the same terms that I used in the tutorial:

      All XenServer hosts in a resource pool should have the same number of physical network interface cards (NICs), although this requirement is not strictly enforced when a XenServer host is joined to a pool.

      Having the same physical networking configuration for XenServer hosts within a pool is important because all hosts in a pool share a common set of XenServer networks. PIFs on the individual hosts are connected to pool-wide networks based on device name. For example, all XenServer hosts in a pool with an eth0 NIC will have a corresponding PIF plugged into the pool-wide Network 0 network. The same will be true for hosts with eth1 NICs and Network 1, as well as other NICs present in at least one XenServer host in the pool.

      At the time, I’d thought that the way that I’d explained it was inelegant…

      …To put it simply: If the interface named ‘eth0’ is configured as the Primary Management Interface (PMI) on one XenServer host; then the interface named ‘eth0’ must be configured as the PMI on all pool members. This same principle applies to all of the interfaces in the pool: If the interfaces named ‘eth3’ & ‘eth4’ are combined (i.e., bonded) and used to access network storage on one XenServer host, then the interfaces named ‘eth3’ & ‘eth4’ must be combined (i.e., bonded) and used to access network storage on all pool members.

      How PIF’s are named determines how XenServer will configure and use those interfaces so controlling the naming process is critical when installing XenServer onto your host systems.

      …but I felt that it captured the essence of how PIF’s are managed by XenServer/XAPI. How do you feel about the way that I’d explained the way that XS/XAPI wrangles the system’s NIC’s? Did I present the information in a way that was easy to understand and easy to utilize?

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