A note on patching XenServer hosts in a resource pool

Don’t do it during your initial build-out. 

Actually, its not so terrible, but its time consuming.  I have three hosts I’m patching that are all in a resource pool.  To ensure the safety of the vm’s in the pool Xen goes through and patches a host, reboots, and then moves onto the next one.  Had the machines been removed from the pool, they could have been patched simultaneously.  Its actually a cool safety feature for production, but seeing as I don’t have any VM’s in the pool yet I wish I had realized what was going on sooner and split the pool out first, or patched them before joining the pool. 

Ok, lesson learned. Fully patch the hosts, then join them to the pool.

 

ADDENDUM

I was talking to a guy who specialized in Citrix XenDesktop and he told me that the real trick to the patching is not to allow XenCenter to auto-reboot the Hosts after applying patches.  I assumed XenCenter knew what it was doing, but apparently it’s just inefficient.  Instead, when applying each patch, specify that you want to manually reboot after the patch is installed.  After it is applied you then skip the reboot and apply the next patch, and then the next, until all are applied and you wrap it up with a single reboot. 

I’m paranoid though, so I recommend leaving it out of the pool either way.

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