Xenserver now fully open

mmmmmdonuts

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Mar 22, 2012
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Moderator Note
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Why Open Source Xen

Much of XenServer already was open source, leveraging packages from the Xen Project, Linux kernel and the XAPI Project. We believe that open source plays a strategic role in the future of virtualization and cloud technology and that only open source offers the opportunities for collaborative, open innovation and the economies of scale that these markets demand. By open sourcing XenServer, customers, partners and developers gain full public visibility into the ongoing development and future of XenServer and can directly engage with us to contribute new XenServer functionality, build deeper integrations and steer the architectural direction of the platform.

Are these ISOs the Same Ones as on Citrix.com?
Yes! There is only one binary ISO of XenServer, available for download on xenserver.org and citrix.com. Wherever you download it from, it's free and fully open source.

XenServer Features
XenServer is an enterprise-class, cloud-proven virtualization platform that delivers all of the critical features needed for any server and datacenter virtualization implementation—scalability for any size business, support for Windows® and Linux OSs and complex storage needs, centralized multi-server management, live virtual machine migration, and much more.

Xen
XenServer is based on the Xen Project[SUP]TM[/SUP] hypervisor that utilizes a 64-bit architecture to provide near native application performance and unmatched density.

XenMotion
XenMotion eliminates the need for planned downtime by enabling active virtual machines to be moved to a new host with no application outages or downtime.

Xen StorageMotion
Move live running virtual machines and their associated virtual disk image within and across resource pools leveraging local and shared storage. This enables users to move a VM and its VDI from a development to production environment, move between tiers of storage when a VM is limited by storage capacity, and perform maintenance and upgrades with zero downtime.

XenCenter Multi-Server Management
XenCenter provides all the virtual machine management, monitoring and general administration, and general administration functions in a single interface. Administrators can easily manage hundreds of virtual machines from a centralized, highly available management console that installs on any Windows® desktop. The Resilient Distributed Management Architecture distributes server management data across the servers in a resource pool to ensure that there is no single point of management failure.

Site Recovery
Provides site-to-site disaster recovery planning and services for virtual environments. Site recovery is easy to set up, fast to recover, and has the ability to frequently test to ensure disaster recovery plans remain valid.

High Availability
Automatically restart virtual machines if a failure occurs at the VM, hypervisor or server level. Link Aggregation bonds network interfaces for network redundancy and increased throughput.

Host Power Management
Takes advantage of embedded hardware features to lower datacenter electricity consumption by dynamically consolidating VMs on fewer systems and then powering off underutilized servers as demand for services fluctuates.

VM Snapshots
Create snapshots of virtual machines to capture disk and metadata settings for backups, archives and configuration changes.

Memory Optimization
Reduces costs and improves application performance and protection by sharing unused server memory between VMs on the host server.

Intellicache
XenServer is optimized to reduce the overall costs and improve performance of a virtual desktop installation. By using local storage as a repository for boot images and non-persistent or temporary data, XenServer can reduce virtual desktop boot times, decrease network volume and traffic, and save on total storage costs for a XenDesktop installation.

XenServer Conversion Manager
Automate the process of converting VMware virtual machines into XenServer virtual machines with this simple batch conversion

Heterogeneous Pools
Enables resource pools to contain servers with different processor types, and support full XenMotion, high availability, workload balancing, and shared storage functionality.

Role-based Administration
Role-based administration improves security and enables delegated access, control, and usage of XenServer pools by maintaining a tiered access structure with varying levels of permissions.

Performance Reporting and Alerting
Receive immediate notification with historical reporting of VM performance to enable the rapid identification and diagnosis of fault or failure in the virtual infrastructure.​

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XenServer.org and the Xen Project – blog.xen.org

Should make things interesting with ESXi.


Edit: Added a Xenserver features matrix list: http://www.citrix.com/content/dam/c...ions/citrix-xenserver-core-feature-matrix.pdf
 
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LeoS

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Jun 19, 2013
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Anyone with experience of migrating to Xen from vmware (or other vm platforms)? :)
 

hagak

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Oct 22, 2012
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I am thinking of moving my All-in-One that is using Esxi with a VM of OmniOS that Esxi mounts the VMs zfs nf share for the datastor. Anyone have experience doing something similar with Xen?

I.E. can you have Xen start up a guest OS, then mount the NFS of the guest OS to get other guest OS to launch?
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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I have to say, I am very excited about this announcement. I cannot wait to get back home to try this.
 

nitrobass24

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Dec 26, 2010
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I am thinking of moving my All-in-One that is using Esxi with a VM of OmniOS that Esxi mounts the VMs zfs nf share for the datastor. Anyone have experience doing something similar with Xen?

I.E. can you have Xen start up a guest OS, then mount the NFS of the guest OS to get other guest OS to launch?
I have not attempted this but I don't see why you would not be able to.
Anyone with experience of migrating to Xen from vmware (or other vm platforms)? :)
Pretty easy, just export your ESX vms to ova/ovf. If you are using hyper-v you can copy the VHD's and just rename the file with the appropriate GUID.
try xenconvert. it's free and similar to vmconverter
XenServer Conversion Tools - Citrix
Not even needed anymore, XenCenter has all of this built-in.
I have to say, I am very excited about this announcement. I cannot wait to get back home to try this.
I already upgraded my environment from XCP to Xen 6.2
Does XCP support GUI pci pass through? That's the only thing keeping me on esxi. Sure it can be done on the command line but I like learning the GUI rather than commands
Xen has moved from a features based licensing to support based. What this means is that now the open-source/free version contains all of the features that were previously in the paid versions. HA, pci-passthrough, DR, storage migration, etc.

The only thing that you do not get is the ability to auto-patch. You must download the patches and manually apply them.
 

sotech

New Member
Jul 13, 2011
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I am thinking of moving my All-in-One that is using Esxi with a VM of OmniOS that Esxi mounts the VMs zfs nf share for the datastor. Anyone have experience doing something similar with Xen?

I.E. can you have Xen start up a guest OS, then mount the NFS of the guest OS to get other guest OS to launch?
We have done this with Xen 4.1 + Ubuntu as Dom0 no hassles.

This is excellent news - we moved all of our ESXi boxes to Xen a few months ago and it's been great.
 

Patrick

Administrator
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Dec 21, 2010
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They are clearly doing this because VMware is massive, Hyper-V is gaining and OpenStack is gaining momentum.

Good for us though.
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
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I briefly played with virtual appliances serving NFS back to xenserver and while it worked, I found it very fragile if the appliance ever went down - as in needing to manually 'repair' the storage repository. I've found ESXi to be much more robust that way...
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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In order to run as an all-in-one on Xenserver I don't think you want to run the SAN as a virtual appliance . There are also issues doing that with the way Xen does IO that would make good performance unlikely. With Xenserver all IO runs through a special VM called "Dom0" so every operatation on your SAN appliance woudl have to pass through Dom0, then the Hypervisor and then the virtual machine. You'd three system calls/context switches on every IO call and you'd be unlikely to ever get good SAN performance.

I think that the right approach for Xen would be to (1) be sure you are running a 64-bit Linux for Dom0 and (2) load ZoL on Dom0. I set this up under Debian/Xapi and it worked well but there were too many problem with Xapi not being real stable yet for me to keep it. The XCP release is stable but it only has a 32 bit kernel available and loading XoL is not advisable.

I do understand that it is possible to run a 64-bit Dom0 on full Xenserver. Since they've gone open-source it should be a reasonable setup but I've not had a chance to give this a try.
 
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s0lid

Active Member
Feb 25, 2013
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Well might install xenserver to ESXi node2 and have a new look at it. I think I tested 5.9 a while back.
Gladly I'm using FC for OS disk, I can just add new LUN, remove ESXi LUN views and add view to new LUN, tada! New storage to install to :)
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
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Pig, if & when a 64-bit dom0 becomes available (e.g. stable) with XCP, I'd be interested in giving this another try...
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
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The problem (as I recall anyway) was that xcp was not 64-bit friendly. All I ever found was a few posts on various forums about people trying to build xcp in 64-bit mode and having all kinds of issues. It was way beyond bleeding edge, so I took a pass...