XenServer “Midnight Ride” Features and Thoughts

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Citrix has announced some of the new features in XenServer “Midnight Ride”.  This will most be likely be XenServer 6.0.  The public beta of XenServer “Midnight Ride” is targeted for mid March.  In this blog post I am going to go over some of the new features in XenServer “Midnight Ride” and my thoughts on those announced new features.

XenServer “Midnight Ride” new features

The following list of the announced new features in XenServer “Midnight Ride” are:

  • Granular Role-based access controls within XenCenter
  • Dynamic Memory Control & Overcommit
  • Enhanced snapshots, including full system state and  one-click revert
  • Administrative logging and audit reports
  • Automation for Workload Balancing
  • Host Power Management
  • StorageLink Site Recovery for business continuity
  • Enhanced CPU compatibility for XenMotion
  • Streamlined XenCenter interface
  • Support for “Supplementary Packs” for hardware vendor-specific features (i.e. Dell, HP)
  • For the official Citrix announcement and to sign up for the webinar for XenServer “Midnight Ride” see http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=1861678

    Thoughts on XenServer “Midnight Ride” new features

    Citrix has made XenServer a more complete product with “Midnight Ride” aka XenServer 6.0.  Citrix has addressed some of the biggest complaints I see on the web and in the Citrix support forums as well as what I hear from customers.  I think one of the biggest features in XenServer “Midnight Ride” besides dynamic memory control and overcommit is enhanced CPU compatibility for XenMotion.  That is huge.  Hopefully ordering for and adding new hardware to existing XenServer resource pools won’t cause us to have to force join the resource pool and/or have problems with XenMotion in resource pools where there are mixed Intel based XenServer hosts or mixed AMD based XenServer hosts.  Another issue I’m happy to see Citrix address is snapshots.  The new enhanced snapshots with full system state and one-click revert address XenServer snapshot issues.  Snapshots and XenServer are another thing I see and hear complained about a lot along with dealing with customers on support calls.  The new enhanced CPU compatibility for XenMotion and snapshots make XenServer more aligned with the already matured VMware ESX and maturing Microsoft Hyper-V products.  I am also happy to see Citrix added granular role based access controls within XenCenter.  Giving us Active Directory integration along with XenCenter web and then taken XenCenter web away was a tease.  Now adding this within XenCenter is a very nice and welcomed addition.

    One of the new feature that interests me in XenServer “Midnight Ride” is automation for workload balancing.  Did Citrix expand upon the existing workload balancing in Essentials for XenServer or have they finally integrated XenServer and EdgeSight?  I hope Citrix finally integrated XenServer and EdgeSight.  Three out of the four flagship Citrix products (XenApp, XenDesktop, and NetScaler) already have EdgeSight integration.  I know you can use EdgeSight for Endpoints, Virtual Agents, or XenApp to monitor the virtual machines on XenServer hosts but what about monitoring, trend reporting, and capacity planning at the hypervisor level?  I know there is monitoring and reporting in Essentials for XenServer but integrating this with EdgeSight for reporting, trending, capacity planning, and alerting along with some automatic type of DRS functionality would be huge.  EdgeSight is a very nice product and XenServer is getting better with every new release so why not make them both even better by integrating the two?

    XenServer has come along way since the Citrix acquisition.  I’m glad to see that with every new release that Citrix is making XenServer better and better.

    If you have found this article interesting or if you have any other insights, please feel free to leave comments on this article.

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    1. Sanjay PatelSanjay Patel05-17-2010

      I may have joined the conversation late but you should try ToutVirtual’s VirtualIQ Pro with XenServer. This really adds some significant value at a low cost from a single web based console. Why not check it out …. http://www.toutvirtual.com

      • JakeJake05-18-2010

        We did have a look at Tout virtual but in the end it came down to vKernel, and VMCO, both of which had free capabilities for what we needed.

    2. Your blog is good! Generally when I visit blogs, I just come across shit, but this time I was really surprised when I got your blog containing wonderful information. Thanks mate and keep this effort up.

    3. LaurentLaurent03-02-2010

      What about support for SCSI/USB Tape devices? So they can be seen in the Xencenter management tool and be offered to virtual machines.

    4. JakeJake02-28-2010

      We are on the Beta for Midnight Ride and have been testing it out on some VMCO Appliances. Really XenServer is now coming of age! Haven’t had any experience of Edgesight but the VMCO tools give us what we need at no extra cost.

    5. JeffJeff02-13-2010

      This is great stuff. Thanks for putting this up for me to read. I have been wondering about XS 6.0 and the enhanced CPU functionality for XenMotion. This ought to be nice to see.

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