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Citrix StorageLink™ technology allows virtual server infrastructures to leverage resources and functionality of existing storage systems via an easy to use interface that connects both Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xen Server virtualization technologies to underlying storage management.


NexentaStor StorageLink Adapter is a separate module that uses the NexentaStor Storage Appliance public API (SA-API) to allow StorageLink to control NexentaStor instances and to thereby take full advantage of NexentaStor capabilities, including unlimited incremental backups or 'snapshots', snapshot mirroring (replication), block level mirroring, inherent virtualization, thin provisioning, high availability, replication services, advanced iSCSI, CIFS and NFS services, and more. NexentaStor StorageLink Adapter is throughly tested and certified.

Citrix Ready

The NexentaStor StorageLink Adapter, in combination with NexentaStor appliance, have successfully completed Citrix certification testing (which included extensive functionality coverage and performance testing). The product is now certified as Citrix Ready Product at


As of today (October 2009), NexentaStor is the only OpenStorage solution with CitrixReady support for StorageLink.

Users of StorageLink with NexentaStor benefit in a number of ways, including:

  • No incremental license fees: The StorageLink Adapter from Nexenta is free to all Nexenta customers and NexentaStor Free Trial users.
  • Simplicity of management: StorageLink allows 'one click' access to NexentaStor capabilities
  • Performance: by leveraging capabilities such as snapshotting within NexentaStor, as opposed to trying to perform these tasks within the hypervisor, StorageLink + NexentaStor performs extremely well for common tasks such as template based VM provisioning (see below) and replication.


If you agree to these terms, please proceed to download NexentaStor Adapter for Citrix StorageLink.



Download NexentaStor Adapter for Citrix StorageLink
File Title: NexentaStor Adapter for Citrix StorageLink (Details)
File Type: zip
File Version: 1.0.7
File Size: 602.14 Kb
Downloads: 131


Getting Started:

  1. Make sure that you have VM DataCenter(*) plugin installed on the appliance.
  2. Install Citrix StorageLink 2.0 or later.
  3. Download the NexentaStor plugin zipped installation program. You can optionally check MD5 of the downloaded zipped file.
  4. Unzip and run the installation program.
  5. Install NexentaStor plugin. Use install path according to your Citrix StorageLink installation.





NexentaStor Adapter for Citrix StorageLink supports:

  • Can be used with Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xen Server
  • Remote attachment to ZFS based storage via standard iSCSI
  • Thin provisioning of iSCSI based LUNs (ZVOLs)
  • Complete management of ZFS snapshot on the backend
  • Multiple storage volumes
  • LUN mapping
  • Seamless integration with NexentaStor VM DataCenter. The latter provides advanced storage management functionality for virtualization platforms (including Xen). Please read more on VM DataCenter here.


User Guide


1. Adding a storage system


Click Storage Infrastructure in the lower half of the left navigation pane to display the Storage Infrastructure work area, then Add Storage Adapter Credentials from the lower half of the Actions pane. The following dialog box appears:



Your storage system displays in the left hand panel:



2. Creating a Storage Repository

A storage repository is a template with a defined set of capabilities for creating storage volumes from your storage system. The storage repository is also a container that keeps track of all the storage that you have allocated using the repository, or by using VM templates which refer to storage volumes contained in the repository.


To create a storage repository select Create Storage Repository from the upper half of the Actions pane. The Create Storage Repository wizard appears. Enter a Name, an optional Description, and select the Storage system that will host the storage for this repository.




In the next page of the wizard, define the repository settings:




The storage repository can be populated with existing pre-created storage volumes resident in the storage array, or new reference storage volumes can be created dynamically.




Once you have added your storage repository, it will show up in the tree control in the left pane, when you are in the Storage Repositories work area. You see can details about the storage repository in the General tab of the center pane.




3. Creating Storage Profile

The storage profile is one component of a virtual machine template. It contains the list of storage volumes to be snapshotted/cloned when the virtual machine template is instantiated. To create a Storage Profile click Virtual Machine Templates in the lower half of the left navigation pane to display the Virtual Machine Templates working area, then Create Storage Profile from the lower half of the Actions pane. The following dialog box appears:




Provide a Name, and an optional Description. Select the Storage repository containing the pool of storage, and identify a storage volume containing a Boot storage volume. The boot storage volume will be the boot disk for the virtual machine.


The new profile appears under the Virtual Machine Templates node.




4. Creating a Virtual Machine Template

The Virtual Machine Template is comprised of two key components:


  • The Storage Profile, which contains a list of Storage Volumes to be cloned or snapshot when the template is instantiated.
  • The Hardware Profile, which indicates how much memory and the number of virtual CPUs to allocate for each new VM that is created from the template.


To create a Virtual Machine Template click Virtual Machine Templates in the lower half of the left navigation pane to display the Virtual Machine Templates working area, then Create Virtual Machine Template from the lower half of the actions pane. The following dialog box appears:




Enter a Name and, if desired, an optional Description. Select your Storage profile, and choose a Hardware profile from the drop-down list that best meets your needs.

5. Creating VMs from template

With a few simple clicks using the StorageLink Manager’s Create Virtual Machine wizard, we can create any number of VMs based on this template and assign them to XenServer hosts. The virtual machines will get automatically configured and named after the first boot.

To create virtual machines from a template choose Create Virtual Machines(s) from the upper half of the actions pane.
From the VM template drop down, choose the template created earlier. Click Next.




Enter a base Name for the virtual machine. For each virtual machine created, StorageLink will append 00, 01, 02, etc. Select the Hypervisor host that will run the newly created virtual machine. From the Protocol preference field, select the storage protocol to connect the storage to the virtual machine. From the Copy type field, select snapshot. (A snapshot is used when you want a base image and each machine gets a private write area. Snapshots save significant disk space. The other copy type is clone, which completes instantly, but creates a complete copy of the data.) Choose the Number of virtual machines you wish to create (for example, 2)




Review the information and click Finish.




The new virtual machines show up under the Virtual Machine view in StorageLink Manager.




Virtual machines are not started automatically. Select them and click Start from the actions menu. The virtual machine state is not updated automatically after an action. You need to click Rescan to see the current state. For example, if you start a virtual machine, the virtual machine still appears to be off in StorageLink Manager until you do a rescan.



In the Citrix XenCenter you'll see successfully loaded VM:



(*) NexentaStor StorageLink Adapter does not have a hard dependency on the VM DataCenter (VMDC) extension module and can be deployed without the latter. It is strongly recommended, however, to use both StorageLink and VMDC in any production environment that requires managing storage for Virtual Machines. Please contact technical support for possible options.


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