I'm having an internal debate over using XenServer and hoping for some info from 'those who are more informed'.

Specifically: VMWare states that it's not a great idea to mix hardware of different configurations when building a VMotion / HA setup. Does this advice hold true for XenServer and it's equivalent ('XenMotion')?


You need "broadly compatible hardware" to create a XenServer Pool. According to the docs (below), the main concern is the CPU's. I can not find any written details about disks, network etc although anecdotally from my own experience, it will make your life much easier if you do have identical hardware, especially the NIC's.

A pool may contain up to 16 servers running the same version of XenServer software, at the same patch level, and with broadly compatible hardware - see Pool Requirements for details of hardware and configuration prerequisites.

All of the servers in a XenServer resource pool must have broadly compatible CPUs, that is:

  • The CPU vendor (Intel, AMD) must be the same on all CPUs on all servers. In particular AMD-V and Intel VT CPUs cannot be mixed.
  • All of the CPUs must have the same feature set. To allow servers with non-identical CPUs to be members of the same pool, CPU masking can be used to hide incompatible features.
  • To run HVM (Windows) virtual machines, all CPUs must have virtualization enabled.

http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xencenter-61/xs-xc-pools-requirements.html http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xencenter-61/xs-xc-pools-about.html

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From my own experiences, I've found that the only thing that is of real importance and that actually needs to be kept the same with XenServer, is the physical NIC configuration. As in, make sure you install the same number of NICs onto all of the servers you'll be putting into your cluster.

Other things such as CPU etc doesn't affect it too much, unless your going to provision your VIM with 8 CPUs and only a few of your hosts have that capacity. I find that if I keep it at 4 max, then I'm fine.

But back to it, I've only ever had to keep the physical NIC configuration the same.

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