Xen and the Art of Project Management

Before Xen became part of the foundation, Kurth says, many people in the Linux community favored KVM. “The thinking really went along the lines of: KVM=Linux=Good. Xen=Citrix=Bad.” With the open source community connecting Xen with Citrix, the project’s features and open source nature were overlooked. Kurth says that Xen’s new role as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project has changed how the community and press view it.

via Xen and the Art of Project Management.

XenServer 6.2 is now fully open source!

It’s an exciting day for Citrix, our customers and the open source community as we announce some BIG news for Citrix XenServer. Today we cross another major milestone as XenServer moves to a full open source model beginning with the new XenServer 6.2. Cutting right to the chase, here are the highlights that I’ll go into more detail on:

  • XenServer 6.2 is available as a free open source virtualization platform for all users
  • Citrix is also introducing a new XenServer.org community portal
  • Citrix provides a paid version of XenServer that includes support and maintenance
  • New CPU socket licensing
  • New simplified packaging and pricing

via XenServer 6.2 is now fully open source! | Citrix Blogs.

XenServer for XenDesktop – How many network cards do I need?

Now, what about throughput? The host’s networking resources are shared amongst the virtual desktops it supports and users will suffer from poor performance if there’s insufficient bandwidth available. As such, consider routing virtual machine traffic over an SLB bond so that it’s automatically load balanced across two NICs. Virtual machine traffic is load balanced by MAC address and rebalanced every ten seconds. Failover support is provided for all other traffic types, including management and IP-based storage traffic. The load balancing algorithm associates traffic from each virtual interface to one of two NICs in the bond. It’s important to understand that it doesn’t allow a single virtual interface to utilize both NICs in the bond simultaneously.

via Open Source Rack » XenServer for XenDesktop – How many network cards do I need?.

I can see this getting complicated fast.  XenDesktop seems to use a lot of network bandwidth.  Someone must have done a study on this.  Thin clients have been a marque product for the last couple of decades.  Wouldn’t it be nice if our clients didn’t have a hard drive — as if merely eliminating a hard drive would eliminate all IT support for that device.

Todo: Get XenDesktop running and do some tests and estimations.

Citrix drops dependencies on Windows to boost XenServer with v6.0

“Site Recovery in previous versions was dependent on the StorageLink Gateway component which was a Windows-based separate installation,” Citrix says. “With XenServer 6.0 the StorageLink functionality is delivered as a native part of XenCenter and the Site Recovery functionality is done natively as well.”

This also allows Citrix to support replication on a greater number of storage devices.Similarly, a Windows VM requirement was removed for access to storage features like data replication, de-duplication, snapshots and cloning, while a new workload balancing tool uses a Linux-based virtual appliance “with a smaller footprint [that] replaces the Windows-based virtual appliance and eliminates the Windows licensing dependency,” Citrix said.

via Citrix drops dependencies on Windows to boost XenServer with v6.0.

Here’s an interesting comment on this article:

agrocrag | a day ago | permalink
I don’t know what all the stuff in this article means, but I have to use a thin client at work that is connected to a Citrix-based server, and it is bar none the worst computing experience I have ever had.
And another:
dal20402 | about 17 hours ago | permalink
It’s really OT for this article, but as a user subjected to XenApp, I can confirm that the user experience is horrendous. It’s pretty stable and reliable in our office, but, even running on quite good hardware with few users connected, it’s absolutely dog-slow, and feels like using a computer while suspended in a jar of molasses.If I’m doing any significant amount of work on the weekends, I’ll go into the office rather than trying to use our XenApp system from home. I save more time by not waiting for the system than I use making the commute.

Another interesting tidbit further down in the comments…

Fast forward ten years and now thin client desktops cost more than quad core workstations.

Is this true?

Importing Kensho OVF to ESX

OVF is a format that describes virtual appliances; these could be single or multiple machine. In doing so, OVF describes the virtual hardware and physical requirements of each machine.

Via Importing Kensho OVF to ESX | Citrix Blogs.

In my example I am going to use XenConvert to create an OVF Appliance from a XenServer XVA (that is an export of a XenServer VM), modify that using a VMware created OVF, and then import to ESX.

VMware ESXi vs. XenServer: Cloud and Desktop Feature Showdown

Heavyweight companies from around the globe are competing in the hot cloud space. In the center ring are two tough competitors Citrix and VMware. Each has strengths and weaknesses. Which should you choose?

In this article, I compare the hypervisor products from these two vendors, Citrix XenServer and VMware ESXi, and explore what each as to offer developers. Since hypervisors have become are a dime a dozen, it only makes sense that a comparison of VMware ESXi and Citrix XenServer also discusses the surrounding components to get a full picture of what each can do for the development

via VMware ESXi vs. XenServer: Cloud and Desktop Feature Showdown – Developer.com.

How To Mount a Linux LVM Partition in a XenServer Host

This article describes how to mount a Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM) partition located inside a virtual disk (VDI) in a XenServer Host.

via CTX117791 – How To Mount a Linux LVM Partition in a XenServer Host – Citrix Knowledge Center.


I have never been a fan of logical volume management which seems to be a Red Hat thing.  It completely complicates matters when mounting drives.  XenServer, which is based off centos (I think) is littered with LVMs as the result of performing the above procedure will attest.  I hope Citrix had a good reason for doing this.