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XenServer 6.5 SP1 Released

Wait, another XenServer release? Yes folks, there is no question we've been very busy improving upon XenServer over the past year, and the pace is quite fast. In case you missed it, we released XenServer 6.5 in January (formerly known as Creedence). Just a few weeks ago I announced and made available pre-release binaries for Dundee, and now we've just announced availability at Citrix Synergy of the first service pack for XenServer 6.5. Exciting times indeed.

What's in XenServer 6.5 SP1

I could bury the lead talk about hot fixes and roll-ups (more on that later), but the real value for SP1 is in the increased capabilities. Here are the lead items for this service pack:

  1. The Docker work we previewed in January at FOSDEM and later on xenserver.org is now available. If you've been using xscontainer in preview form, it should upgrade fine, but you should back up any VMs first. Completion of the Docker work also implies that CoreOS 633.1.0 is also an officially supported operating system with SP1. Containers deployed in Unbuntu 14.04 and RHEL, CentOS, and Oracle Enterprise Linux 7 and higher are supported.
  2. Adoption of LTS (long term support) guest support. XenServer guest support has historically required users of guest operating system to wait for XenServer to adopt official support for point releases in order to remain in a supported configuration. Starting with SP1, all supported operating systems can be upgraded within their major version and still retain "supported" status from Citrix support. For example, if a CentOS 6.6 VM is deployed, and the CentOS project subsequently releases CentOS 6.7, then upgrading that VM to CentOS 6.7 requires no changes to XenServer in order to remain a supported configuration.
  3. Intel GVT-d support for GPU pass through for Windows guests. This allows users of Xeon E3 Haswell processors to use the embedded GPU in those processors within a Windows guest using standard Intel graphics drivers.
  4. NVIDIA GPU pass though to Linux VMs allowing OpenGL and CUDA support for these operating systems.
  5. Installation of supplemental packs can now be performed through XenCenter Update. Note that since driver disks are only a special case of a supplemental pack, driver updates or installation of drivers not required for host installation can now also be performed using this mechanism
  6. Virtual machine density has been increased to 1000. What this means is that if you have a server which can reasonably be expected to run 1000 VMs of a given operating system, then using XenServer you can do so. No changes were made to the supported hardware configuration to accommodate this change.

Hotfix process

As with all XenServer service packs, XenServer 6.5 SP1 contains a rollup of all existing hot fixes for XenServer 6.5. This means that when provisioning a new host, your first post-installation step should be to apply SP1. It's also important to call out that when a service pack is released, hotfixes for the prior service pack level will no longer be created within six months. In this case, hotfixes for XenServer 6.5 will only be created through November 12th and following that point hotfixes will only be created for XenServer 6.5 SP1. In order for the development teams to streamline that transition, any defects raised for XenServer 6.5 in bugs.xenserver.org should be raised against 6.5 SP1 and not base 6.5.

Where to get XenServer 6.5 SP1

 

Downloading XenServer 6.5 SP1 is very easy, simply go to http://xenserver.org/download and download it!     

Security bulletin covering VENOM
Introducing XenServer Dundee

Related Posts

 

Comments 16

Tobias Kreidl on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 18:28

Very nice! One quick question: It we want to work with both XS 6.5 SP1 and the technical pre-release Dundee version, is there or will there be a XenCenter compatible with both?

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Very nice! One quick question: It we want to work with both XS 6.5 SP1 and the technical pre-release Dundee version, is there or will there be a XenCenter compatible with both?
Tobias Kreidl on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 09:39

Found out these are 99% compatible (thanks, Andy!), so either should work fine. The Dundee XenCenter release shows a slightly newer version number, so it can be installed over the XC release from XS 6.5 SP1, but not vice versa (so you first have to uninstall XC).

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Found out these are 99% compatible (thanks, Andy!), so either should work fine. The Dundee XenCenter release shows a slightly newer version number, so it can be installed over the XC release from XS 6.5 SP1, but not vice versa (so you first have to uninstall XC).
Stephen Turner on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 08:23

Hi, Tobias. Dundee XenCenter already includes all the changes in 6.5SP1, so you can just use that one to manage everything (everything back to 6.0, actually).

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Hi, Tobias. Dundee XenCenter already includes all the changes in 6.5SP1, so you can just use that one to manage everything (everything back to 6.0, actually).
Doug Huneycutt on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 14:16

Just reading up on Xen Security Advisory CVE-2015-3456 (the Venom 0-day in QEMU). I'm looking to head off the anticipated groundswell of questions about XenServer's susseptability to this vulnerability. Does 6.5SP1 include the XSA-133 patches published by the Xen security team?

Thanks,
Doug

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Just reading up on Xen Security Advisory CVE-2015-3456 (the Venom 0-day in QEMU). I'm looking to head off the anticipated groundswell of questions about XenServer's susseptability to this vulnerability. Does 6.5SP1 include the XSA-133 patches published by the Xen security team? Thanks, Doug
Guest - Doug Huneycutt on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 14:17

Sorry ... susseptability --> susceptibility

Relying on spelling checkers only works if you actually go back and fix things!

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Sorry ... susseptability --> susceptibility Relying on spelling checkers only works if you actually go back and fix things!
Tim Mackey on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 14:31

@Doug,

Unfortunately I can't comment about specific security issues until they are disclosed by Citrix. The official security response process is outlined here: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX081743. When we disclose anything related to a security issue, it will appear in this list: http://support.citrix.com/search?searchQuery=%3F&lang=en&sort=cr_date_desc&ct=Security+Bulletin&prod=XenServer

If you'd like to be proactively alerted to any disclosures, you can subscribe to the alerts by clicking on the "Alerts" menu item.

I know this isn't the answer you might be looking for, but it is the process we follow.

-tim

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@Doug, Unfortunately I can't comment about specific security issues until they are disclosed by Citrix. The official security response process is outlined here: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX081743. When we disclose anything related to a security issue, it will appear in this list: http://support.citrix.com/search?searchQuery=%3F&lang=en&sort=cr_date_desc&ct=Security+Bulletin&prod=XenServer If you'd like to be proactively alerted to any disclosures, you can subscribe to the alerts by clicking on the "Alerts" menu item. I know this isn't the answer you might be looking for, but it is the process we follow. -tim
Tim Mackey on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 17:09

@Doug, Here's the disclosure: https://support.citrix.com/article/ctx201078

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@Doug, Here's the disclosure: https://support.citrix.com/article/ctx201078
Guest - Doug Huneycutt on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 17:54

Fantastic, that is just the kind of info I'm looking for. Thank you for your help!

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Fantastic, that is just the kind of info I'm looking for. Thank you for your help!
Senol Colak on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 23:14

Really nice that we have now Docker capabilities. But the biggest gap of lacking technologies is on Storage and Filesystems. Especially we are looking forward to hear something on GLUSTERFS support.

But really thanks for having the first SP1 .. the project is definitely accelerated :)..

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Really nice that we have now Docker capabilities. But the biggest gap of lacking technologies is on Storage and Filesystems. Especially we are looking forward to hear something on GLUSTERFS support. But really thanks for having the first SP1 .. the project is definitely accelerated :)..
Guest - Sébastien RICCIO on Saturday, 16 May 2015 13:05

Thanks a lot for the SP1. Great new features. Containers are something that people are more and more asking for. Being able to monitor, stop/start them from the XenCenter / API is very cool.

Like said before, it would be nice to know if there is any plans to include support for some new clustered storages like GlusterFS and/or Ceph.

Having possibility to have vdi greater than 2TB (I guess it's limited because of vhd format, but vhdx should now break this barrier.)

Maybe being able to mirror vm to another server and keeping tracks of change (block tracking) to be able to do incremental/differentials mirror.

Just some thoughts about some features that would be very welcomed :)

Again, thanks a lot for your work !

0
Thanks a lot for the SP1. Great new features. Containers are something that people are more and more asking for. Being able to monitor, stop/start them from the XenCenter / API is very cool. Like said before, it would be nice to know if there is any plans to include support for some new clustered storages like GlusterFS and/or Ceph. Having possibility to have vdi greater than 2TB (I guess it's limited because of vhd format, but vhdx should now break this barrier.) Maybe being able to mirror vm to another server and keeping tracks of change (block tracking) to be able to do incremental/differentials mirror. Just some thoughts about some features that would be very welcomed :) Again, thanks a lot for your work !
Tobias Kreidl on Saturday, 16 May 2015 15:31

@Sébastien: Suggestions for what features to incorporate into forthcoming Xen (not XenServer, but Xen) can be made at http://xenorg.uservoice.com/forums/172169-xen-development and there are quite a few in the queue. There is also a http://discussions.citrix.com/forum/1289-feature-requests-and-suggestions/ XenServer forum thread you can post to.

In particular, I would emphasize the ability to copy live or shut down VMs and their storage to be able to create backups and be able to retain the original as highly desirable, as well as additional features such as LVM thin provisioning, vGPU Xenmotion support, and better SR-IOV support. I would also really like to see Windows VMs be officially supported with up to 32 VCPUs, just like Linux now is.

0
@Sébastien: Suggestions for what features to incorporate into forthcoming Xen (not XenServer, but Xen) can be made at http://xenorg.uservoice.com/forums/172169-xen-development and there are quite a few in the queue. There is also a http://discussions.citrix.com/forum/1289-feature-requests-and-suggestions/ XenServer forum thread you can post to. In particular, I would emphasize the ability to copy live or shut down VMs and their storage to be able to create backups and be able to retain the original as highly desirable, as well as additional features such as LVM thin provisioning, vGPU Xenmotion support, and better SR-IOV support. I would also really like to see Windows VMs be officially supported with up to 32 VCPUs, just like Linux now is.
Guest - azrim on Friday, 03 July 2015 01:18

I can't download xenserver 6.5 free edition from the link given http://xenserver.org/download . Any opinion why?

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I can't download xenserver 6.5 free edition from the link given http://xenserver.org/download . Any opinion why?
Tim Mackey on Friday, 03 July 2015 01:58

Thanks for letting us know. I'm looking into it and will advise.

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Thanks for letting us know. I'm looking into it and will advise.
Tim Mackey on Friday, 03 July 2015 13:53

Downloads are once again working. It looks like the CDN provider changed their URI format, and while I think we've found all the locations where a download was directly referenced, if you find another one let me know either here or in the xs-devel list.

Thanks

-tim

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Downloads are once again working. It looks like the CDN provider changed their URI format, and while I think we've found all the locations where a download was directly referenced, if you find another one let me know either here or in the xs-devel list. Thanks -tim
Guest - azrim on Friday, 03 July 2015 17:10

#tim

Now the link seems good to go.

thanks

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#tim Now the link seems good to go. thanks
Guest - pmw on Saturday, 18 July 2015 23:27

Does SP1 support ext4 or software raid installations?

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Does SP1 support ext4 or software raid installations?

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.
 
Commercial support for XenServer is available from Citrix.