Virtualization Blog

Discussions and observations on virtualization.

Citrix Releases Cumulative Update 2 for XenServer 7.1 LTSR

Citrix is pleased to announce the release of the second cumulative update (CU2) for XenServer 7.1. This update, which Citrix recommends applying at your earliest convenience, is strictly for customers running XenServer 7.1 LTSR. As with previous cumulative updates, this update includes fixes only, no new features are introduced with this update.

To download XenServer 7.1 CU2, which can be installed using the full installation ISO or the update ISO, visit Citrix.com and log in with your Citrix account.

Citrix recommends reading the XenServer 7.1 CU2 Release Notes prior to installing the update.

 

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XenServer 7.6 Now Available for Download!

Hello everyone,

Citrix is pleased to announce general availability of XenServer 7.6, the latest release for those following the Current Release model. For information regarding the differences between the Long-Term Service Release (LTSR) and Current Release (CR) models offered by Citrix, please refer to the article published on the Citrix blog site.

7.6 introduces official support for thin provisioning on block storage for XenServer virtual disk Storage Repositories along with Networking SR-IOV for enhanced system I/O performance. Initially available as “experimental” features in the 7.5 CR release, rapid and wide implementation of these features in production environments is anticipated as customers look to achieve significant savings in storage cost and capacity as well as better overall system performance.

If it's been some time since your organization has upgraded its XenServer virtual environment, please review the following list, which highlights the various features introduced in recent versions (prior to 7.6) that are helping our customers get the most out of their virtual workloads.

7.5 CR:

  • Larger XenServer Resource Pool size: XenServer now supports up to 64 hosts participating in a resource pool
  • 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

7.1 CU1 LTSR:

  • 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

Consistent with previous releases, XenServer 7.6 delivers new features to help our customers get the most out of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

For additional information pertaining to XenServer, which, along with many other Citrix products, is currently going through the rebranding process (and will soon be referred to as “Citrix Hypervisor”), please visit the XenServer/Citrix Hypervisor page on Citrix.com.

Until next time,

Andy

 

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Recent Comments
Daniel
At some point will it launch 7.1 CUXX with the new features implemented until now (7.2 - 7.6) or do we have to wait for one in the... Read More
Saturday, 08 September 2018 18:30
Andy Melmed
Hi Daniel, Any new features introduced between 7.2 and 7.6 CR will not be back-ported to 7.1 CUxx LTSR. CUxx is a roll-up of bug ... Read More
Thursday, 04 October 2018 00:48
Rafique Uddin
XENSERVER 7.6 ...is this the free version. Do we need license for this ?
Thursday, 04 October 2018 00:06
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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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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.