Citrix has released today a new version of it’s free hypervisor XenServer. Version 6.1 is now available for download on the Citrix website.
New Features and Improvements Since XenServer 6.0
XenServer 6.1.0 includes the following new features and ongoing improvements:
Storage XenMotion allows running VMs to be moved from one host to another. This includes the case where (a) VMs are not located on storage shared between the hosts and (b) hosts are not in the same resource pool. This enables system administrators to:
- Rebalance or move VMs between XenServer pools – for example promoting a VM from a development environment to a production environment;
- Perform software maintenance – for example upgrading or updating standalone XenServer hosts without VM downtime;
- Perform hardware maintenance – for example upgrading standalone XenServer host hardware without VM downtime;
- Reduce deployment costs by using local storage.
For more information, refer to the XenServer 6.1.0 Virtual Machine User’s Guide and the XenCenter online help.
Live VDI Migration:
Live VDI Migration allows system administrators to relocate a VM’s Virtual Disk Image (VDI) without shutting down the VM. This enables system administrators to:
- Move a VM from cheap, local storage to fast, resilient, array-backed storage;
- Move a VM from a development to a production environment;
- Move between tiers of storage when a VM is limited by storage capacity;
- Perform storage array upgrades.
- Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) support: enables the use of industry-standard network bonding features to provide fault-tolerance and load balancing of network traffic.
- Source Load Balancing (SLB) improvements: allows up to 4 NICs to be used in an active-active bond. This improves total network throughput and increases fault tolerance in the event of hardware failures. The SLB balancing algorithm has been modified to reduce load on switches in large deployments.
- Multi-Tenancy improvements: allows system administrators to restrict a VM to send and receive traffic on a specific MAC address and a number of IPv4 or IPv6 addresses, without relying on VLANs and switch management software. When these extensions are deployed VMs cannot impersonate any other VM, or intercept traffic intended for any other VM. This increases security in environments where VMs cannot be fully trusted. For detailed configuration see the XenServer 6.1.0 Administrator’s Guide and for a White Paper discussion refer to CTX134787.
- VLAN Scalability improvements: removes a previous limitation which caused VM deployment delays when large numbers of VLANs were in use. This improvement enables administrators using XenServer 6.1.0 to deploy hundreds of VLANs in a XenServer pool quickly.
- Emergency Network Reset: provides a simple mechanism to recover and reset a host’s networking, allowing system administrators to revert XenServer hosts to a known good networking state. Refer to CTX131972 and the XenServer 6.1.0 Administrator’s Guide for detailed information.
- IPv6 Guest Support: enables the use of IPv6 addresses within guests allowing network administrators to plan for network growth.
- Citrix XenServer Conversion Manager: enables batch import of VMs created with VMware products into a XenServer pool to reduce costs of converting to a XenServer environment. Refer to the XenServer Conversion Manager Guide.
- New Installation Mechanism for XenServer Tools: XenServer Tools are now delivered as industry standard Windows Installer MSI files. This enables the use of 3rd party tools to deliver and manage the installation and upgrade of the XenServer device drivers. For more information on MSI files refer t http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb742606.aspx
Enhanced Guest OS Support:
Newly Supported Guests
- Ubuntu 12.04
- CentOS 5.7, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7, 6.1, 6.2
- Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.7, 6.1, 6.2
Refer to the XenServer 6.1.0 Guest Support Guide for virtual memory and disk size limits for these new guests.
- Supported number of VMs per host increased to 150.
- XenCenter: configuration of performance graphs simplified; assignment of IP addresses simplified.
- Performance Monitoring Enhancements Supplemental Pack: provides additional RRD metrics such as I/O throughput that can be viewed in XenCenter. Refer to CTX135033 for details
- XenServer Tools: guests running Windows operating systems can now make use of either Microsoft .NET 3.5 or .NET 4.0 when installing XenServer Tools.
- Simplified mechanism to adjust Control Domain (“dom0”) vCPUs. Refer to CTX134738 for details.
- Updated Open vSwitch: v1.4.2 provides stability and performance improvements. For more information refer to
- Integrated StorageLink (iSL) support for EMC VNX series arrays.
- GPU Pass-through: support for up to 4 GPUs per host.
- Interoperability extensions for 3rd Party Tools: additional asynchronous XenAPI C language bindings, Workload Balancing (WLB) extensions and general improvements.
- Automated Server Hardware Test Kit – reduces the time spent running certification tests – refer to the
- Verification Test Kits & Forms for Citrix XenServer for more information.
- Support for hypervisor monitoring (vhostmd) allows SAP software to run inside a XenServer VM. Refer to CTX134790 for configuration details.
The following components have been updated since the release of XenServer 6.0:
- Microsoft System Center Integration Pack v6.1.0
- Workload Balancing v6.0.2
- Web Self Service 1.1.1 Virtual Appliance.
XenServer Virtual Appliances
The following XenServer Virtual Appliances are available for download from the XenServer Download page
- Demo Linux Virtual Appliance
- Workload Balancing Virtual Appliance
- vSwitch Controller Virtual Appliance
- Web Self Service 1.1.1 Virtual Appliance
- Citrix License Server VPX v11.10
- Citrix XenServer Conversion Manager
Here are some guides to get you started:
- XenServer 6.1.0 Configuration Limits
- XenServer Web Self Service 1.1.2 Administrator’s Guide
- XenConvert 2.5 Guide
- XenServer 6.1.0 Quick Start Guide
- XenServer 6.1.0 Administrator’s Guide
- XenServer 6.1.0 Installation Guide
- XenServer 6.1.0 Virtual Machine User’s Guide
- XenServer 6.1.0 vSwitch Controller User’s Guide
Download the new XenServer 6.1 version here (while it is free to use it does require a My Citrix ID to download).