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XenServer 6.2 and now OpenSource and FREE

XenServer is now fully open source and free, yes you read correct. XenServer is now a free open source virtualization platform for everyone. All the cool features that was in Enterprise and Platinum are now part of the free version.

Citrix have introduced a new portal called XenServer.org where people can comment Q/A, download the software plus much more.

Citrix will still provide a paid version that provides support and maintenance. There is introduced a new CPU socket licensing and the packaging and pricing are also simplified.

XenServer is now open source, what does Citrix then provide you?

At the feature and functionality level, the only difference will be that free Citrix XenServer users will not be able to use XenCenter for automated installation of security fixes, updates and maintenance releases. Free Citrix XenServer does include XenCenter for server management, but not patch management. By purchasing Citrix XenServer you get:

  • Citrix Premier 24×7 worldwide support
  • Commercially packaged and certified product
  • Simplified patching and updating via XenCenter
  • Indemnification and license protection
  • Citrix knowledgebase & My Account Portal

Deploy multiple XenServer’s for free

This is where i recommend you look at XSDT. This awesome tool can help you automated XenServer deployment.

Ever deployed XenServer? To multiple hosts? To multiple pools?

There’s an automated solution now. And it’s free.

http://www.xsdt.org

Introducing the new XenServer.org community

The new XenServer.orgcommunity portal to provide source code access as well as drive innovation and discussion around server virtualization and cloud. To learn more about the community, what it means to you and how to participate go check out XenServer.org.

New CPU Socket Licensing

Starting with XenServer 6.2, the licensing model changes from per-server to per-socket licensing. The change is directly aligned with cloud optimization and enablement product strategy. For starters, socket licensing is aligned with most cloud orchestration and cloud management solutions like Citrix CloudPlatform and Apache CloudStack as well as being also the standard across all other virtualization offerings in the marketplace. Socket licensing will make it easier to forecast licensing costs using a single apple to apples metric. In addition, the socket licensing will benefit smaller customers using single socket servers.

For existing customers upgrading to Citrix XenServer 6.2, it’s win-win because they can convert their server licenses to socket licenses at no cost. Each individual server license will be converted to two socket licenses using a self-managed conversion tool available on citrix.com/myaccount. The license conversion tool will available starting July 18, 2013.

By purchasing Citrix XenServer you get:

  • Citrix Premier 24×7 worldwide support
  • Commercially packaged and certified product
  • Simplified patching and updating via XenCenter
  • Indemnification and license protection
  • Citrix knowledgebase & My Account Portal

 

New Simplified Packaging and Pricing

Another improvement to XenServer is the simplification to the overall XenServer packaging and pricing. XenServer 6.2 is now available as single edition that includes Software Maintenance, doing away with the previous Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum editions. Once again, a flat product, support and maintenance model brings consistency with other commercial open source solutions. It provides customers a way to define the value that they see in the product and make a simple determination of does the product fit my need and do I need support. The cost aligns with the previous price of XenServer Enterprise license with the exception that XenServer 6.2 now includes Software Maintenance (Premier Support and Subscription Advantage) at that price. Citrix also introducing annual pricing, giving customers more flexibility with their budgeting and buying decisions.

  • Annual – $500 per socket (License and Software Maintenance: SA and support)
  • Perpetual – $1250 per socket (License and Software Maintenance: SA and support)

 

Lets dig into whats new in XenServer 6.2 functionalities.

New Features and Improvements in XenServer 6.2

XenServer 6.2.0 includes the following new features and ongoing improvements:

Licensing Simplification

As part of our commitment to ease of use, this release sees the introduction of XenServer 6.2.0 which replaces the previous XenServer Free, Advanced, Enterprise, and Platinum editions. Functionality previously available within premium versions of XenServer is now available free of charge. With this simplification we have also introduced per-socket licensing. Licenses no longer enable specific XenServer features, instead they signify that a XenServer is under a valid support contract. XenServer 6.2.0 no longer requires a license server or licence file to enable features, as all features are enabled for free in unlicensed mode. Licenses are only required to receive Citrix Support and to enable the use of XenCenter for the installation of security and feature hotfixes. Hotfixes can continue to be installed on unlicensed hosts using the xe command line interface.

Performance and Scale

Significant performance and scale improvements; given a server of sufficient capacity XenServer will scale to:

Metric XenServer version 6.2.0
VMs per host 500
vCPUs per host 3250

Performance improvements include:

  • Reduction in the amount of traffic between a VM and the Control Domain (Dom0).
  • Automatic scaling of Dom0 memory and vCPUs based on physical memory and CPU capacity on the host.

Monitoring

The XenServer 6.1.0 Performance and Monitoring Supplemental Pack is now fully integrated and extended for XenServer 6.2.0. This provides detailed monitoring of performance metrics, including CPU, memory, disk, network, C-state/P-state information, and storage. Where appropriate, these metrics are available on a per host and a per VM basis. These metrics are available directly through the RRD interface, or can be accessed and viewed graphically in XenCenter or other third-party applications.

It is now possible to export the performance information directly as a Comma Separated Values (.csv) formatted stream enabling the use, or easy development, of third-party tooling.

New system alerts can be seen in XenCenter and XenDesktop Director and optionally sent by e-mail. Alerts are notifications that occur in response to selected system events, or when CPU, memory usage, network throughput, storage throughput, or VM disk activity go over a specified threshold on a managed host, VM, or storage repository. For details, refer to the Monitoring and Managing XenServer chapter in CTX137828 – XenServer 6.2.0 Administrator’s Guide.

Clone on Boot

This feature supports Machine Creation Services (MCS) which is shipped as part of XenDesktop. Clone on boot allows rapid deployment of hundreds of transient desktop images from a single source, with the images being automatically destroyed and their disk space freed on exit.

New and Improved Guest Support

  1. Microsoft Windows 8
  2. Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  3. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP2 (32/64-bit)
  4. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.8, 5.9, 6.3, 6.4 (32/64-bit)
  5. Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL) 5.8, 5.9, 6.3, 6.4 (32/64-bit)
  6. CentOS 5.8, 5.9, 6.3, 6.4 (32/64-bit)
  7. Debian Wheezy (32/64-bit)
  8. VSS support for Windows Server 2008R2 has been improved and reintroduced

Other Improvements

  • Improvements to logging in Dom0: logs cannot over-consume Dom0 resource, increasing host stability
  • Live Storage Migration is now possible from the VM Storage tab in XenCenter
  • Support for additional CPUs (AMD Piledriver, Intel Haswell-DT)
  • Updated in-box device drivers
  • Minor Hypervisor upgrade (Xen-4.1.5)
  • Updated DM Multipath (0.4.9.56)
  • Support for alert severity filtering in XenCenter
  • Updated XenServer alert severity levels for consistency
  • The PowerShell SDK has been redesigned for improved robustness, usability, and compliance

Deprecated Features

Several other features will not be further developed and will be removed in a later release. These deprecated features function as in XenServer 6.1.0 and will remain supported, providing a period of overlap while third-party products or alternative solutions are established. Features which fall into this category are:

  1. Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) support
  2. Integrated StorageLink (iSL)
  3. Distributed Virtual Switch (vSwitch) Controller (DVSC). The Open vSwitch remains fully supported and developed

Source

Read the full story on how Citrix XenServer now is fully open source virtualization hypervisor.

Download XenServer 6.2 here

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