Citrix XenServe 5.6 Beta1 is available to download and for free here : http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_1340047.asp

This new version brings a lot of really important options I really needed to bring XenServer at my customer’s presentation and be able to use it with my XenApp and XenDesktop architectures. I mean, most of my customers, until now, prefer to pay choosing VMWare ESX or Sphere than Citrix XenServer and one of the main reason is about the granular role-based access controls option which simply doesn’t exist in the actual production version (XenServer 4, 5 and 5.5). This option is coming very late but is still welcome !

Citrix introduces this new version giving the following list of new features :

  • Granular Role-based Access Controls. Administrative users can be assigned one of several roles, which govern the actions they are able to complete from XenCenter and the command-line interface (CLI).
  • Administrative Logging and Audit. Administrative changes made from XenCenter or the CLI are logged and available in the Workload Reports in XenCenter.
  • Dynamic Memory Control. This feature can increase the density of virtual machines running on a host by reducing the memory footprint of existing virtual machines so that new ones can boot.
  • Enhanced VM Snapshots. It is now possible to create full VM snapshots including the disk and memory state.  Virtual machines can be easily rolled back to prior snapshot states with a “revert to snapshot” option.
  • Automated Workload Balancing & Power Management. Workload balancing (WLB) recommendations can be applied automatically without administrative intervention.  Power Management features include support for wake-on-LAN and vendor-specific implementations from HP, Dell, and others.
  • StorageLink Site Recovery. Enhanced integration with storage-level replication enables recovery of an entire virtual infrastructure at a secondary disaster recovery site.
  • Citrix License Server integration. Essentials for XenServer features are now activated using a license applied to a Citrix Licensing Server

The snapshot is really enhanced compare to the previous versions, this is what was missing with role-based access controls, this is small things but so important to all my customers, this is one of the first thing they wanted to see, snapshot management… Until now I was with my powershell scripts etc etc but it wasn’t very sexy to show…

Now it looks like that : (more…)

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  • Hello Archy,

    I agree with your analys.
    it is a good news

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  • Here is my review of DMC: http://www.thegenerationv.com/2010/04/xenserver-56-preview-part-1-dynamic.html

    Not a fan of over-commit from an engineering stand point, but I do like how Citrix XenServer has implemented it.

    My take is about the same as your regarding VMWare vs XenServer… I see momentum gaining for XS in my customers.

  • Hello Guys,

    I think that Citrix is not fighting on the server virtualization battleground, they are focussing on the Delivery Strategy.
    I think that Vmware will be ahaid for servers virtualization, but it is a good news for SMB with the new release of Xen.
    Do you know where we can find, a non marketting comparison of the two products, only facts & figures ?

  • If you have Windows Update troubles with your VMs
    you can find bellow the link to an updated version of the Windows XenTools for use in verifying networking issues in Windows guests running on XenServer Midnight Ride pre-release builds. Please install these drivers in your Windows VMs and verify if the issues still exist.
    http://bugtracker.vmd.citrix.com/browse/AT-277

  • Hi,

    I have a really weird issue with memory on my XenServer 5.6
    6 VMs are hosted by one host on a local storage

    Host : 4 Cpus with 16Gb ram and 2TB drive storage

    3 VMs – Windows 2008 R2 configured with 1024MB memory
    2 VMs – Windows 2008 R2 configured with DMC 1024 – 2048MB memory (XenApp 6)
    1 VM – Windows 7 x64 with 2048MB memory

    I should be able to run all these VMs without any problem but I have this weird issue related to Shadow memory multiplier settings.

    The problem is the memory used by Xen host as soon as I power on a XenApp server or the Windows 7 VM. jumps from 1,7Gb to 9,2Gb (for the host)… and then I cannot power on another VM.
    I’ve try to change Shadow memory multiplier and put it back to XenApp mode but it doesn’t take the setting change. I remain with this value 400.00 on noth XenApp 6 servers and 10000.00 on the Windows 7 VM.

    http://forums.citrix.com/thread.jspa?threadID=264190&tstart=0

  • Jay

    Hi Stephane,

    I haven’t try the beta, but I have one question: is the installation still need minimum 16 GB storage (while actually XenServer only use around 4GB)?

    Currently I need to edit the configuration file first before installing XenServer to SD card (I’m using HP ML Series with internal SD slot).

    I’m really looking forward the new snapshot feature, and quite curious about StorageLink Site Recovery.

    • Hello Jay !

      Check this link out : http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX124887
      You might find information about partition size, I think it remains the same (16Gb)

      About HA features i couldn’t check everything yet because my Xen at home is in stand alone mode with local storage 🙂