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As you may have noticed there are a lot of virtualization products in the market.  Some of the better known products are from Parallels, Oracle, VMWare, and Microsoft.   Each company has products with different strengths and weaknesses.

In this video I explain where to get Citrix Xenserver and how to install it. I use a Virtualbox Virtual Machine in my demonstration, however you would not want to run Xenserver in a Virtual Machine in your production environment. I can't really think of a situation where you would want to do that.

I hope you enjoy the video, and be sure to send me any questions you have either by commenting on this article, or sending me a message via the Contact Us section at the top of the page.

I have spent a lot of time with various vendors support departments; and I have to say, Netapp has one of the best support departments.  If I call Netapp at 2:00 AM on a Sunday morning, I can get someone on the phone right away.  My one complaint is that I cannot open a ticket via E-Mail.  Fortunately that is not a big hurdle to cross.

When you are working with Netapp support you can either open a ticket over the phone or via the Now website.  If you do not have a NOW login, I would recommend getting one.  The NOW site is what will give you access to Netapp Documentation, Updates for your Filer, performance metrics from your Filer, and access to the support Portal.

In today's video I will cover how to configure Open Filer; including authentication, creating volumes and several connection protocols.  For information on how to install Open Filer, please see my tutorial on installing open filer.  That can be found at the following link:

*Note* Written instructions are at the bottom of the page

Today's video shows how to install Open Filer in a Virtual Machine. I will be including more videos soon on how to configure the various parts of Open Filer.

Open Filer is a very easy to use storage system which integrates with Active Directory and LDAP. It supports NFS, iSCSI, SMB, etc... It has many features including Snapshots, Replication, and High Availability. There is a both a Community Version (Free) and a Commercial Version (Not Free).

Virtual Box is a very simple virtual machine package which can be installed on Linux, Mac, Windows, and Solaris. It is open source, so you can compile it to run on other systems as well.

In this tutorial video I will cover how to install virtual box and install your first virtual machine. The process of creating the virtual machine is does not change much from operating system to Operating system. As long as you know how to install the OS (Example: Windows or Linux) then you too can create a Virtual Machine. In this case I will be creating an Ubuntu Linux virtual machine. Ubuntu version 10.10 has a new installer, so it looks a little different if you have used previous versions, but it is still fairly intuitive.

When selecting you hardware, there are many factors to consider; How many Virtual Machines do you want to run at a time? How busy will these Virtual Machines be? If you are getting ready to P2V a bunch of virtual machines, then you should use Perfmon (In a Windows Environment) to take a benchmark before proceeding.

When troubleshooting performance issues on a Netapp storage system, Perfstat is a very useful utility.  There are other ways to get performance statistics, but they are not quite as detailed.

The perfstat file at first glance can be rather daunting.  Perfstat files get very large, very fast, and may scare away the faint at heart.  But, if you spend a little time looking them over, they start to make some sense.

For the purpose of this article I am going to focus on three areas which will help you to pinpoint the performance problem you be experiencing on your SAN; these areas are Disk, CPU, and Network.

In the field of storage, you used to be able to simply buy enough hard drives to fill your space needs and you would end up with sufficient disks to fulfill your performance needs.  Unfortunately with hard disks getting so large, this is no longer the case.

When people talk about Virtualization, they are most of the time referring to either Machine Virtualization, or Application Virtualization.

When You Virtualize an application, you isolate the application to run it its own little world, sometimes called a Sand Box.  By doing this you can get around application compatibility issues, and simplify application deployment.

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