Release: Citrix XenServer 6.0.0

In March this year Citrix released a first public beta of the next version of XenServer called Project Boston, followed by another beta release in July this year. Now Citrix has released XenServer 6.0, which provides networking, performance and scalability improvements, based on the Xen hypervisor.

Citrix has now introduced the Open vSwitch (OVS) standard as the default network stack of the product. Citrix has decided not to release the Self-Service Manager feature available in the beta, because Citrix wants to line up with the products CloudStack and Cloud Portal which it acquired in July this year. Version 6.0 is available for download a the XenServer download page at Citrix.

Citrix also announced that it will drop the Service Pack and Feature Pack terms in favor of a x.y.z. numbering scheme, which officially makes this version 6.0.0. , 6.1.0 being the new feature release expected mid 2012 and 6.5.0 being the next major release.

Some of the new features in version 6 are:

  • Full integration of Open vSwitch, which is now the default networking stack
  • Desktop Virtualization optimizations including HDX enhancements, GPU pooling, storage improvments by leveraging local storage where possible.
  • Support for the upcoming Microsoft System Center 2012 product range, mainly System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) for managing and System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) for monitoring.
  • Based on Xen 4.1 hypervisor, released in may this year.
  • Remote data replication between storage arrays which works with any iSCSI or Hardware HBA storage repository, replaces StorageLink Gateway Site Recovery and removes the Windows VM requirement.
  • StorageLink integrated, introducing data replication, de-duplication, snapshot and cloning.
  • Virtual Appliance Support (vAPP), consisting of multi-vm boot sequenced appliances which integrate with Site Recovery and HA.
  • Pre-checks on upgrades called Rolling Pool Upgrade Wizard
  • Cross-server private networks, ACLs, QoS, RSPAN and Netflow settings which can be applied to a running VM during vSwitch controller failure
  • Support for 1TB memory on the host
  • Support for 128 GB virtual memory and 14 vCPU on the guest.
  • Support for VM disk and the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) formats, with full support for XenServer, XenConvert and VMware. But also VMDK and VHD import functionality.
  • Host installation from a single ISO
  • Support for Ubuntu 10.04 (32/64 bit), Debian Squeeze 6.0 64-bit, Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.0 (32/64 bit), SLES 10 SP4 (32/64 bit) and experimental VM templates for CentOS 6.0 (32/64 bit), Ubuntu 10.10 (32/64 bit) and Sun Solaris 10.
  • Linux-based virtual appliance used for Workload Balancing
  • VM Protection and Recovery for the Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum Editions
  • XenCenter operations can now run in parallel
  • NFS support for High Availability, so that HA Heartbeat disks can now reside on a NFS storage repository.
  • Improved support for hardware-assisted network performance optimization (SR-IOV)