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Citrix Announces General Availability of XenServer 7.5 CR

Hello everyone,

This week Citrix released the latest version of XenServer: 7.5 CR. For those unfamiliar with the LTSR and CR release models offered by Citrix, please refer to the recent article published on the Citrix blogs that explains the difference between the two release models.

So what’s new in 7.5 you may be asking? Great question!

Before I answer this question however, I’d like to remind everyone of the many features we’ve introduced since the release of 7.1 (LTSR) back in February 2017, starting with 7.1 itself.

7.1 LTSR features:

  • Automated updates to simplify host maintenance
  • Delivering Windows VM drivers via Windows updates (WSUS)
  • Health Check (via Citrix Insight Services) to monitor the health of XenServer hosts
  • Live-Patching, enabling hosts to be updated (patched) without rebooting to minimize downtime
  • PVS-Accelerator -reducing/eliminating boot storms while dramatically improving virtual desktop performance
  • SMB storage, providing even more options for SRs
  • Bitdefender Hypervisor Introspection (HVI), which scans raw memory at the hypervisor later to detect and protect virtual environments from sophisticated IT attacks (i.e., viruses, malware, ransomeware and rootkit exploits)
  • Support for Nutanix, combining the benefits of a single software stack (XA/XD/XS) with the cost-effective scale and management benefits provided by hyper-converged infrastructure

7.2 CR features:

  • Windows Continuum (tablet mode enablement) – providing seamless transition from desktop to tablet mode on virtual desktops
  • Scheduled snapshots for greater control and more flexible backup capabilities

7.3 CR features:

  • Citrix Director integration to simplify troubleshooting of virtual desktop issues
  • Bromium Secure Platform - providing advanced protection for Windows VMs
  • XenCenter host status and licensing visibility
  • Expanded Linux template support
  • VLAN tagging for management and storage interfaces to improve network utilization

With the release of 7.4 CR, XenServer became the first hypervisor to support vGPU-accelerated VM Live-Migration (XenMotion)! In addition, 7.4 introduced support for AMD MxGPU, further extending its support for the major graphics vendors (NVIDIA, Intel, AMD). Combined, these features reinforced XenServer’s lead in advanced virtual graphics capabilities.

Now that we’ve reviewed the many features that have been introduced since 7.1, let’s highlight what’s new in 7.5.

First and foremost, 7.5 introduces support for GFS2. With GFS2 support comes several experimental features, including thin provisioning on block storage for virtual disk storage repositories, as well as a significant increase in virtual disk size: from 2TBs to 16TBs. Yes, that’s correct… an 8x increase in storage capacity to help our customers with their ever-increasing data requirements!

With newly added support for Networking SR-IOV: Pass-Through of Virtual Functions, XenServer can now use Single Root I/O Virtualization that allows a single PCI device to appear as multiple PCI devices on the physical system. By assigning one or more VFs to a VM, the guest OS can use the device(s) as if it was directly assigned.

For large-scale virtual environments, customers can now take advantage of the significant increase in the number of supported hosts per XenPool – from the current limit of 16 to as many as 64.

7.5 introduces support for USB Pass-Through, enabling physical USB devices to be passed through to a VM so the guest OS can use the physical USB device as a local USB device.

Lastly, several changes have been made in 7.5 pertaining to guest OS support, including the addition of the following Linux guest OS templates:

  • CentOS 7.4
  • CentOS 6.9
  • Oracle Linux 6.9
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9
  • Scientific Linux 6.9

Please note the majority of the features described above are available in XenServer 7.5 Enterprise edition only. For more information regarding the newest features in 7.5, refer to the Release Notes.

As you can see, XenServer continues to push the envelope when it comes to ease-of-use, security, graphics, performance, and scalability. And there are a lot more great things coming your way in future releases!

Until next time,

Andy

 

Recent Comments
Martin Cerveny
vgpu-*.src.rpm is missing in XenServer-7.5.0-source.iso. Where to find it ?
Saturday, 02 June 2018 08:47
Andy Melmed
Hi Martin, Thank you for your inquiry. As we received several inquiries asking why the vgpu-*.src.rpm is missing from the 7.5 so... Read More
Thursday, 07 June 2018 15:05
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XenServer 7.4 Available for Download!

Hello XenServer community,

It is our pleasure to announce the release of 7.4, the latest update in the CR release track.

XenServer 7.4 offers customers following the CR release track access to the latest product features designed to enhance application, desktop and server virtualization deployments. For customers running XenServer 7.3 (up until now the most recent CR), Citrix recommends upgrading to 7.4 at the earliest convenience to maintain support.

For customers following the LTSR release track (starting with XenServer 7.1 LTSR), Citrix recommends reviewing the XenServer 7.4 release notes to determine if 7.4 would deliver additional benefits to their virtual environments.

Note: The decision to embark on the CR release track entails the adoption of new CRs as they are made available in order to maintain support, as hotfixes for each CR are only made available for up to 4 months after the next CR is released. Please see the XenServer Product Lifecycle page for details.

XenServer 7.4 is available in the following editions:

  • Free Edition
  • Standard Edition
  • Enterprise Edition

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR XENSERVER FREE EDITION USERS

The release of 7.3 introduced several changes to feature availability in the Free Edition of XenServer. For details regarding these changes, please see XenServer 7.3: Changes to the Free Edition.

NEW FEATURES IN XENSERVER 7.4

The following features and functionality are new in XenServer 7.4:

  • vGPU-enabled VM live-migration (XenMotion)
  • AMD MxGPU support
  • Citrix Cloud XenApp/XenDesktop subscriptions to XenServer (licensing)

For more information, including the edition(s) in which each feature can be found, refer to the XenServer 7.4 release notes.

To download XenServer 7.4, please visit the XenServer Product Download page.

Cheers!

Andy

 

Recent Comments
Ilsa Loving
Why is 7.1 no longer available? I thought it was supposed to be an LTSR version. While the removal of features was dissappointin... Read More
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 01:03
David Cottingham
Hi Ilsa, Back in August last year Citrix announced that hotfixes on each release would be available to Free Edition customers unt... Read More
Thursday, 08 March 2018 01:26
Andreas Becker
Where are the nVidia Grid drivers for XenServer 7.4 ??? Can´t find them at nVidia Enterprise Licensing Portal ...
Thursday, 15 March 2018 17:35
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Announcing the Availability of XenServer 7.3

We're pleased to announce the availability of XenServer 7.3, the latest Current Release (CR)!

CRs Versus LTSRs

XenServer 7.3 offers customers following the CR release track access to the latest product features designed to enhance application, desktop and server virtualization deployments. For customers running XenServer 7.2 (up until now the most recent CR), Citrix recommends upgrading to 7.3 at the earliest convenience to maintain support.

For customers following the LTSR release track (starting with XenServer 7.1 LTSR), Citrix recommends reviewing the XenServer 7.3 release notes to determine if 7.3 would deliver additional benefits to their virtual environments.

Note: The decision to embark on the CR release track entails the adoption of new CRs as they are made available in order to maintain support, as hotfixes for each CR are only made available for up to 4 months after the next CR is released. See the XenServer Product Lifecycle page for details.

XenServer 7.3 is available in the usual three editions:

  • Free Edition
  • Standard Edition
  • Enterprise Edition

Important Notice for XenServer Free Edition Users

With the release of 7.3 comes several changes to feature availability in the Free Edition of XenServer. For details regarding these changes, please see XenServer 7.3: Changes to the Free Edition.

New Features in XenServer 7.3

The following is a list of the features and functionality introduced in XenServer 7.3:

  • Enhanced security for Windows virtual machines by support for Bromium Secure Platform
  • Changed Block Tracking API (for enhanced backups)
  • New and expanded guest OS support
  • Support for VLAN tagging on management and storage network interfaces
  • IGMP snooping for IPv4 multicast support
  • SMB v3.0 for ISO storage repositories (SRs)
  • Improvements to XenServer Conversion Manager
  • Localization for Email Performance Alerts
  • Support for BIOS Asset Tags
  • Citrix Director integration
  • Enablement for XenDesktop Tablet Mode (enables Windows 10 Continuum experience in virtualized desktop environments)

For more information, including the edition(s) in which each feature can be found, please refer to the XenServer 7.3 release notes.

To download XenServer 7.3, please visit the XenServer Product Download page.

Cheers!

Andy

 

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A Great Time to Take A Look at XenServer Enterprise!

Good afternoon everyone,

As we make our way through the last quarter of the year, I wanted to remind the community of the significant progress the XenServer team has achieved over the last 18 months to make XenServer the awesome hypervisor that it is today!

While many of you have been making the most of your free XenServer hypervisor, I would like to take this opportunity to review just a few of the new features introduced in the latest releases of the Enterprise edition - features that our customers have been using to optimize their application and desktop virtualization deployments.

For starters, we've instrumented automated updates and live patching, features that streamline the platform upgrade process by enabling multiple fixes to be installed and applied with a single reboot and in many cases, no reboot whatsoever, significantly reducing downtime for environments that require continuous uptime.

We've also worked with one of our partners to introduce a revolutionary approach to securing virtual workloads, one that is capable of scanning raw memory at the hypervisor layer to detect, protect and remediate against the most sophisticated attacks on an IT environment. This unique approach provides an effective line of defense against viruses, malware, ransomware and even root kit exploits. What's more, this advanced security technique complements security mechanisms already implemented to further strengthen protection of critical IT environments.

Providing a local caching mechanism within the XenServer hypervisor enables our virtual desktop customers to dramatically improve the performance of their virtual desktops, particularly during boot storms. By caching requests for OS image contents in local resources (i.e., memory and storage), XenServer is able to work with Provisioning Services to stream contents directly to virtual desktops, reducing resource utilization (network and CPU) while enhancing user productivity.

Expanded support for virtual graphics allows our customers to leverage their investments in hardware from the major graphics vendors and enable GPU-accelerated virtual desktops that effectively support graphics-intensive workloads.

Designing, developing and delivering features that bring out the best in virtualization technologies... that's our focus. And thanks to the invaluable insight and feedback provided by this community, will continue to be the driving force behind our innovation efforts.

Interested in evaluating the features described above, click here.

Until next time,

Andy

 

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XSO DB for XS 7.1 Closing Down

Attention XenServer community:

Please be advised that, in alignment with our goal of frequent releases and the XSO database supporting one active release to help resolve issues found in that release while simultaneously preparing for the next release, we are closing down the XSO database for 7.1 issues. As such, users are encouraged to move to XS 7.2 and raise any issues they encounter with that release here. Users who wish to remain on the Long-Term Support Release (LTSR) stream are encouraged to visit Citrix.com.

As always, thank you for your support.

Andy

 

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Citrix Announces First Cumulative Update for XenServer 7.1

Citrix has posted a blog announcing the availability of XenServer 7.1 CU1, the first cumulative update for the XenServer 7.1 Long-Term Support Release (LTSR).

CU1 rolls-up all hotfixes released on XenServer 7.1 to date. While there are no new features introduced in this update, a number of additional fixes are included to further enhance and simplify XenApp and XenDesktop environments. Information pertaining to these fixes can be found in the release notes.

Of particular significance, this cumulative update provides customers on Long-Term Support Release (LTSR) 7.1 with the latest platform fixes applicable to v7.1. Unlike Current Releases (CR), which provide access to new features on an almost quarterly basis, Long-Term Support Releases are designed for customers who, possessing the features they need to optimize their XenApp and XenDesktop environments, intend to remain on the LTSR for the foreseeable future. For these customers, using a Long-Term Support Release offers stability - Citrix will support the LTSR for up to 10 years – as well as access to fixes as they become available. You can learn more about the differences between Long-Term Support and Current Releases here.

Wondering if XenServer 7.1 Enterprise edition is right for your organization? Click here to download a free trial version.

Cheers!

Andy

 

Recent comment in this post
Sam McLeod
Great to see a roll-up for all hotfixes for 7.1 to date, it was very painful figuring out what patches to apply and what not to in... Read More
Sunday, 17 September 2017 23:15
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XenServer 7.2 now available!

Hello XenServer community!

The XenServer team is proud to announce the release of version 7.2, which includes an array of improvements that further simplify and refine the user experience and enable even greater platform management scalability.

Click here to learn more about the new features available in XenServer 7.2.

See you on the XenServer page on Citrix.com!

Andy M.

 

Recent Comments
Christian
Awesome! All the download pages link to 7.1, tho.
Thursday, 25 May 2017 23:23
Andy Melmed
To learn about all the really cool things XenServer 7.2 has to offer our customers, visit https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2017/05/25/... Read More
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 21:18
Andy Melmed
Hi Christian, The links on the downloads page to access v7.2 have been updated. Thank you, Andy... Read More
Monday, 05 June 2017 13:31
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XenCenter 7.1 update now available!

A hotfix (XS71E001) has been released for customers using XenCenter as the management console for their XenServer 7.1 virtual environments. 

This hotfix offers improvements in XenCenter UI responsiveness, as well as several fixes associated with host health check analysis, status reports and updates. Additional information pertaining to this hotfix can be found here.

As always, we encourage customers read the hotfix release notes and install the hotfix to avoid any of the issues described in the notes.

 

Recent comment in this post
Tobias Kreidl
Note that this distribution includes both the XenCenter binary as well as a hotfix that needs to be applied to the XenServer host,... Read More
Friday, 07 April 2017 12:53
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Introducing... XenServer 7.1!

We are pleased to announce the release of XenServer 7.1!

Click here to learn about the new features and enhancements available in 7.1.

As is customary with every new release, we encourage you to give v7.1 a spin and report any issues via https://bugs.xenserver.org.

Note: We ask that you target this release exclusively for new defect reports[*].

Thank you and enjoy the latest release!

[*]In case of problems with earlier releases, pre-XS v7.0 and outside of paid support, then we recommend you upgrade to the XS v7.x series.  

 

 

 

Tags:
Recent Comments
Andrew Halley
See here for which features are available in which versions : https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/product-o... Read More
Friday, 24 February 2017 17:41
Christian
Hey, Great news! The Download links still reflect 7.0 release, tho. Any chance to get a download link? -Chris.... Read More
Friday, 24 February 2017 22:07
Andrew Halley
We're working on it - now done!
Monday, 27 February 2017 16:51
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Staying Ahead of the Curve

Are you looking to improve the performance of your virtual servers and desktops?

Could your hypervisor use a boost when it comes to supporting graphics-intense applications?

Are you in need of an advanced security technology that offers a unique way of detecting and blocking sophisticated attacks against your data center before they cause any damage to your business?

Would you like to simplify the maintenance of your hosting infrastructure?

Does the idea of optimizing the performance, scalability, management and cost-savings of your application and desktop delivery solutions through the combination of an industry-leading hypervisor and industry-leading HCI platforms sound interesting to you?

Would you feel more comfortable knowing your hosting infrastructure was fully-supported for the next 10 years?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, click here to learn more!

Until next time,

Andy

 

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Better Together: PVS and XenServer!

XenServer adds new functionality to further simplify and enhance the secure and on-demand delivery of applications and desktops to enterprise environments.

If you haven't visited the Citrix blogs recently, we encourage you to visit https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2016/10/31/pvs-and-xenserver-better-together/ to read about the latest integration efforts between PVS and XS.

If you're a Citrix customer, this article is a must read!

Andy Melmed, Senior Solutions Architect, XenServer PM

 

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XenServer Ely Alpha 1 Available

Hear ye, hear ye… we are pleased to announce that an alpha release of XenServer Project Ely is now available for download! After Dundee (7.0), we've come a little closer to Cambridge (the birthplace of Xen) for our codename, as the city of Ely is just up the road.

 
Since releasing version 7.0 in May, the XenServer engineering team has been working fervently to prepare the platform with the latest innovations in server virtualization technology. As a precursor, a pre-release containing the prerequisites for enabling a number of powerful (and really cool!) new features has been made available for download from the pre-release page.
 

What's In it?

 

The following is a brief description of some of the feature-prerequisites included in this pre-release:

 

Xen 4.7:  This release of Xen adds support for "live-patching" of the Xen hypervisor, allowing issues to be patched without requiring a host reboot. In this alpha release there is no functionality for you to test in this area, but we thought it was worth telling you about none the less. Xen 4.7 also includes various performance improvements, and updates to the virtual machine introspection code (surfaced in XenServer as Direct Inspect).

 

Kernel 4.4: Updated kernel to support future feature considerations. All device drivers will be at the upstream versions; we'll be updating these with drops direct from the hardware vendors as we go through the development cycle.

 

VM import/export performance: a longstanding request from our user community, we've worked to improve the import/export speeds of VMs, and Ely alpha 1 now averages 2x faster than the previous version.

 

What We'd Like Help With

 

The purpose of this alpha release is really to make sure that a variety of hardware works with project Ely. Because we've updated core platform components (Xen and the Dom0 kernel), it's always important to check on hardware that we don’t have in our QA labs that all is well. Thus, the more people who can download this build, install, and run a couple of VMs to check all is well the better.

 

Additionally, we've been working with the community (over on XSO-445) on improving VM import/export performance: we'd like to see whether the improvements we've seen in our tests are what you see too. If they're not, we can figure out why and fix it :-).

 

Upgrading

 

This is pre-release software, not for production use. Upgrades from XenServer 7.0 should work fine, but it goes without saying that you should ensure you back up any critical data.

 

Reporting Bugs

 

We encourage visitors to download the pre-release and provide us with your feedback. If you do find a problem, please head over to the bug tracker and file a ticket. Please be sure to include a server status report!

 

Now that we've moved up to a new pre-release project, it's time to remove the XS 6.5 SP1 fix version from the bug tracker, in order that we keep it tidy. You'll see an "Ely alpha" affects version is now present instead.

 

What Next?

 

Stay tuned for another pre-release build in the near future: as you may have heard, we've been keeping busy!

 
As always, we look forward to working with the XenServer community to make the next major release of XenServer the best version ever!

 

Cheers!

 

Andy M.

Senior Solutions Architect - XenServer PM

 

Recent Comments
David Reade
The download link for the release notes does not work. For "info.citrite.net" I'm getting "server not found". Is this a link to an... Read More
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 15:56
Tobias Kreidl
Always nice to see XenServer improvements and added features. The new kernel and live patching are nice. The vm-export/import gain... Read More
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 06:41
Willem Boterenbrood
Tobias, In my XenServer 7.0 test environment I see a large improvement of VM export speed compared to my 6.5SP1 live environment.... Read More
Friday, 14 October 2016 07:13
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About XenServer

XenServer is the leading open source virtualization platform, powered by the Xen Project hypervisor and the XAPI toolstack. It is used in the world's largest clouds and enterprises.
 
Technical support for XenServer is available from Citrix.