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XenServer Dundee Beta 1 Available

We are very pleased to make the first beta of XenServer Dundee available to the community. As with all pre-release downloads, this can be found on the XenServer Preview page. This release does include some potential commercial features, and if you are an existing Citrix customer you can access those features using the XenServer Tech Preview. It's also important to note that a XenServer host installed from the installer obtained from either source will have identical version number and identical functionality. Application of a Tech Preview license unlocks the potential commercial functionality. So with the "where do I get Dundee beta 1" out of the way, I bet you're all interested in what the cool bits are, and what things might be worth paying attention to. With that in mind, here are some of the important platform differences between XenServer 6.5 SP1 and Dundee beta 1.

Updated dom0

The control domain, dom0, has undergone some significant changes. Last year we moved to a 64 bit control domain with a 3.10 kernel as part of our effort to increase overall performance and scalability. That change allowed us to increase VM density to 1000 VMs per host while making some significant gains in both storage and network performance. The dom0 improvements continue, and could have a direct impact on how you manage a XenServer.

CentOS 7

dom0 now uses CentOS 7 as it's core operating system, and along with that change is a significant change in how "agents" and some scripts run. CentOS 7 has adopted systemd, and by extension so too has XenServer. This means that shell scripts started at system initialization time will need to change to follow the unit and service definition model specified for systemd.

cgroups for Control Isolation

Certain xapi processes have been isolated into Linux control groups. This allows for greater system stability under extreme resource pressure which has created a considerably more deterministic model for VM operations. The most notable area where this can be observed is under bootstorm conditions. In XenServer 6.5 and prior, starting large numbers of VMs could result in start operations being blocked due to resource contention which could result in some VMs taking significantly longer to start than others. With xapi isolation into cgroups, VM start operations no longer block as before resulting in VM start times being much more equitable. This same optimization can be seen in other VM operations such as when large quantities of VMs are shutdown.

RBAC Provider Changes

XenServer 6.5 and prior used an older version of Likewise to provide Active Directory. Likewise is now known as Power Broker, and XenServer is using the Power Broker Identity Services to provide authentication for RBAC. This has improved performance, scale and reliability, especially for complex or nested directory structures. Since RBAC is core to delegated management of a XenServer environment, we are particularly interested in feedback on any issues users might have with RBAC in Dundee beta 1.

dom0 Disk Space Usage

In XenServer 6.5 and prior, dom0 disk space was limited to 4GB. While this size was sufficient for many configurations, it was limiting for more than a few of you. As a result we've split dom0 disk into three core partitions; system, log and swap. The system partition is now 18GB which should provide sufficient for some time to come. This also means that the overall install space required for XenServer increases from 8GB to 46GB. As you can imagine, given the importance of this major change, we are very interested to learn of any situations where this change prevents XenServer from installing or upgrading properly.

Storage Improvements

Having flexible storage options is very important to efficient operation of any virtualization solution. To that end, we've added in support for three highly requested storage improvements; thin provisioned block storage, NFSv4 and FCoE.

Thin Provisioned Block Storage

iSCSI and HBA block storage can now be configured to be thinly provisioned. This is of particular value to those users who provision guest storage with a high water mark expecting that some allocated storage won't be used. With XenServer 6.5 and prior, the storage provider would allocate the entire disk space which could result in a significant reduction in storage utilization which in turn would increase the cost of virtualization. Now block storage repositories can be configured with an initial size and an increment value. Since storage is critical in any virtualization solution, we are very interested in feedback on this functional change.

FCoE

Fibre Channel over Ethernet is protocol which allows Fibre Channel traffic to travel over standard ethernet networks. XenServer now is able to communicate with FCoE enabled storage solutions, and can be configured at install time to allow boot from SAN with FCoE. If you are using FCoE in your environment, we are very interested in learning both any issues as well as learning what CNA you used during your tests.

Operational Improvements

Many additional system level improvements have been made for Dundee beta 1, but the following highlight some of the operational improvements which have been made.

UEFI Boot

XenServer 6.5 and prior required legacy BIOS mode to be enabled on UEFI based servers. With Dundee beta 1, servers with native UEFI mode enabled should now be able to install and run XenServer. If you encounter a server which fails to install or boot XenServer in UEFI mode, please provide server details when reporting the incident.

Automatic Health Check

XenServer can now optionally generate a server status report on a schedule and automatically upload it to Citrix Insight Services (formerly known as TaaS). CIS is a free service which will then perform the analysis and report on any health issues associated with the XenServer installation. This automatic health check is in addition to the manual server status report facility which has been in XenServer for some time.

Improved Patch Management in XenCenter

Application of XenServer patches through XenCenter has become easier. The XenCenter updates wizard has been rewritten to find all patches available on Citrix’s support website, rather than ones that have been installed on other servers. This avoids missing updates, and allows automatic clean-up of patches files at the end of the installation.

Why Participate in the Beta Program

These platform highlights speak to how significant the engineering effort has been to get us to beta 1. They also overshadow some other arguably core items like a move to the Xen Project Hypervisor 4.6, host support for up to 5TB of host RAM or even Windows guest support for up to 1TB RAM. What they do show is our commitment to the install base and their continued adoption of XenServer at scale. Last year we ran an incredibly successful prerelease program for XenServer Creedence, and its partly through that program that XenServer 6.5 is as solid as it is. We're building on that solid base in the hopes that Dundee will better those accomplishments, and we're once again requesting your help. Download Dundee. Test it in your environment. Push it, and let us know how it goes. Just please be aware that this is prerelease code which shouldn't be placed in production and that we're not guaranteeing you'll ever be able to upgrade from it.

Download location: http://xenserver.org/prerelease

Defect database: https://bugs.xenserver.org

Review: XenServer 6.5 SP1 Training CXS-300
XenServer Dundee Alpha.3 Available

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Comments 36

Guest - fbifido on Thursday, 05 November 2015 18:18

How can we test/build qemu-xen-2.4.0-xxxxxx & kernel-4.2.5-xxx/kernel-4.3.0-xxx ?

https://kernel.org/category/releases.html
Kernels Longterm release info

-Version -Maintainer -Released -Projected EOL
3.10 Greg Kroah-Hartman 2013-06-30 Sep, 2015

Thanks.

0
How can we test/build qemu-xen-2.4.0-xxxxxx & kernel-4.2.5-xxx/kernel-4.3.0-xxx ? https://kernel.org/category/releases.html Kernels Longterm release info -Version -Maintainer -Released -Projected EOL 3.10 Greg Kroah-Hartman 2013-06-30 Sep, 2015 Thanks.
Guest - Fbifido on Tuesday, 03 November 2015 20:48

Does anyone has a step by step guide of how to create a cents 7.1 xenserver build environment
Thanks.

0
Does anyone has a step by step guide of how to create a cents 7.1 xenserver build environment Thanks.
Guest - fbifido on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 01:50

Hi, got this from another site, and this works, but its for xen only.

Hi, fbifido

Please find my direction to build xen with slic.
I built xen with CentOS7 with clean installed. (Correction dated Nov 23, 2015. Please use CentOS 5.10)

(1) Get the source!!!
I downloaded from git repositories instead of rpm. I think this is much easier.
# git clone git://xenbits.xen.org/projects/xen.git (Correction dated Nov 23, 2015. Please use xen 4.4.1)

(2) Install packages
I recommend to add EPEL libraries before ./configure and make.
# yum install epel-release
# yum-builddep kernel
# yum groups mark convert
# yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
# yum install transfig wget tar less texi2html libaio-devel dev86 glibc-devel e2fsprogs-devel gitk mkinitrd iasl xz-devel bzip2-devel
# yum install pciutils-libs pciutils-devel SDL-devel libX11-devel gtk2-devel bridge-utils PyXML qemu-common qemu-img mercurial texinfo
# yum install libidn-devel yajl yajl-devel ocaml ocaml-findlib ocaml-findlib-devel python-devel uuid-devel libuuid-devel openssl-devel
# yum install python-markdown pandoc systemd-devel glibc-devel.i686
# yum install epel-release dev86 ncurses-devel libnl3-devel lzo-devel
# yum install e2fsprogs-devel libbsd-devel valgrind-devel

(3) Create slic.h
make sure all your servers are the same brand, make & model, and update all their bios to
the same version. then use a bios ACPI copy program or script to extract the SLIC from your
server bios, or google your server brand for the SLIC.
eg:
# xxd -i dell23.bin | grep -v len | sed 's/unsigned char.*/ static char SLIC[] = {/' > slic.h
I used DELL[PE_SC3]2.3-8ECDF13C.BIN to create slic.h.

(5) cd xen
./configure
make
it will put everything in a directory call "dist"
(6) try make world & make install

0
Hi, got this from another site, and this works, but its for xen only. [quote]Hi, fbifido Please find my direction to build xen with slic. I built xen with CentOS7 with clean installed. (Correction dated Nov 23, 2015. Please use CentOS 5.10) (1) Get the source!!! I downloaded from git repositories instead of rpm. I think this is much easier. # git clone git://xenbits.xen.org/projects/xen.git (Correction dated Nov 23, 2015. Please use xen 4.4.1) (2) Install packages I recommend to add EPEL libraries before ./configure and make. # yum install epel-release # yum-builddep kernel # yum groups mark convert # yum groupinstall "Development Tools" # yum install transfig wget tar less texi2html libaio-devel dev86 glibc-devel e2fsprogs-devel gitk mkinitrd iasl xz-devel bzip2-devel # yum install pciutils-libs pciutils-devel SDL-devel libX11-devel gtk2-devel bridge-utils PyXML qemu-common qemu-img mercurial texinfo # yum install libidn-devel yajl yajl-devel ocaml ocaml-findlib ocaml-findlib-devel python-devel uuid-devel libuuid-devel openssl-devel # yum install python-markdown pandoc systemd-devel glibc-devel.i686 # yum install epel-release dev86 ncurses-devel libnl3-devel lzo-devel # yum install e2fsprogs-devel libbsd-devel valgrind-devel (3) Create slic.h make sure all your servers are the same brand, make & model, and update all their bios to the same version. then use a bios ACPI copy program or script to extract the SLIC from your server bios, or google your server brand for the SLIC. eg: # xxd -i dell23.bin | grep -v len | sed 's/unsigned char.*/ static char SLIC[] = {/' > slic.h I used DELL[PE_SC3]2.3-8ECDF13C.BIN to create slic.h. (5) cd xen ./configure make it will put everything in a directory call "dist" (6) try make world & make install [/quote]
Alfredo Hickman on Saturday, 07 November 2015 21:48

Hello:

Will XenSever 7 make it easier to add local storage repositories for install ISOs and the like? This is an important feature, and it is something that has proven difficult to do in previous versions of XenServer.

Keep up the great work.

0
Hello: Will XenSever 7 make it easier to add local storage repositories for install ISOs and the like? This is an important feature, and it is something that has proven difficult to do in previous versions of XenServer. Keep up the great work.
Guest - Jeff Riechers on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:06

Very happy with this new build.

It got my Nvidia Q2000 card working with XenDesktop GPU-passthrough on my Z800 box.

Previous alphas and 6.5 would just crash on mounting, so very happy this worked right out of the gate.

Big think I still would like to see is vhdx import support, for reverse-imaging of PVS images from 7.7.

Looking to drop more ram and disk into my box so I can stress test it further, and to play with thin provisioned block storage.

Keep up the great work teams!

0
Very happy with this new build. It got my Nvidia Q2000 card working with XenDesktop GPU-passthrough on my Z800 box. Previous alphas and 6.5 would just crash on mounting, so very happy this worked right out of the gate. Big think I still would like to see is vhdx import support, for reverse-imaging of PVS images from 7.7. Looking to drop more ram and disk into my box so I can stress test it further, and to play with thin provisioned block storage. Keep up the great work teams!
Ivan Grynenko on Friday, 13 November 2015 04:05

EXT3 replacement is a must. XFS comes with CentOS 7 by default, brings many advantages over EXT3 and an easy to implement for you. Please add it to the Dundee release.

0
EXT3 replacement is a must. XFS comes with CentOS 7 by default, brings many advantages over EXT3 and an easy to implement for you. Please add it to the Dundee release.
Tobias Kreidl on Sunday, 15 November 2015 22:27

By any chance is or will USB 3.0 passthrough be supported under Dundee?

0
By any chance is or will USB 3.0 passthrough be supported under Dundee?
Bruce Hermes on Monday, 16 November 2015 22:28

Hi I am installing this on one of my dev servers running on a Dell R410 with a Broadcom
netextreme network card and the card failed to load. Should I load the drivers during the
beginning of the installation using cent7 drivers? I have had great luck using the default installs on some dev servers from 5.5-6.5. We have 4 licensed R720's
Thanks
Bruce

0
Hi I am installing this on one of my dev servers running on a Dell R410 with a Broadcom netextreme network card and the card failed to load. Should I load the drivers during the beginning of the installation using cent7 drivers? I have had great luck using the default installs on some dev servers from 5.5-6.5. We have 4 licensed R720's Thanks Bruce
Guest - james on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 19:06

what is the model of Broadcom NIC on Dell R410, you can lookup if that is supported on http://hcl.xenserver.org/networkadapters/

you may also log a defect at bugs.xenserver.org.

0
what is the model of Broadcom NIC on Dell R410, you can lookup if that is supported on http://hcl.xenserver.org/networkadapters/ you may also log a defect at bugs.xenserver.org.
Guest - Bruce Hermes on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 19:19

Update to the R410, I have used lsmod bnx* to find the Broadcom Netextreme 2 finding it was present but not loaded. Used modprobe bnx2 and rebooted and it is working.
Bruce Hermes

0
Update to the R410, I have used lsmod bnx* to find the Broadcom Netextreme 2 finding it was present but not loaded. Used modprobe bnx2 and rebooted and it is working. Bruce Hermes
Guest - Robin Lee on Friday, 27 November 2015 02:02

Dundee can not be installed within VirtualBox any longer?

0
Dundee can not be installed within VirtualBox any longer?
Guest - hidesan on Thursday, 03 December 2015 15:01

And also, I did " vm-param-set other-config:0/0000:02.00.0,0/0000:04:00 uuid=
However, pci are not attached to target vm.
Did you change any methods to make pass through from Domain-0?

0
And also, I did " vm-param-set other-config:0/0000:02.00.0,0/0000:04:00 uuid= However, pci are not attached to target vm. Did you change any methods to make pass through from Domain-0?
Guest - hidesan on Thursday, 03 December 2015 23:06

Would you please tell me how to pci passthrough on dundee?
Target PCI devices are BDF 02:00.0 and 04:00.0
I edited /etc/grub-efi.cfg and added "xen-pciback.permissive" and "xen-pciback.hide=(02:00.0)(04:00.0)"

0
Would you please tell me how to pci passthrough on dundee? Target PCI devices are BDF 02:00.0 and 04:00.0 I edited /etc/grub-efi.cfg and added "xen-pciback.permissive" and "xen-pciback.hide=(02:00.0)(04:00.0)"
Guest - james on Friday, 11 December 2015 19:10

@Citrix team - any news on XS Dundee release plan?
is the wait for better features or more stability ?

0
@Citrix team - any news on XS Dundee release plan? is the wait for better features or more stability ?
Guest - Robert on Tuesday, 23 February 2016 19:23

VHDX support +

0
VHDX support +
Volker on Monday, 18 April 2016 21:16

That is awkward. In the past where users where deploying spinning drives servers you required 8 GB and now where companies are moving to smaller SSD drives you require 46 GB.

Space today is more costly than it was in the past for virtualization and I assume most deployments will be on SSD drives which are yet limited in terms of size vs traditional drives. I think that is a bit pushing it, make it 16 GB which is twice as much already. You are not supposed to install anything on dom0, and the only thing that can consume space is logs, but then again, companies are pushing logs out of servers to a centralized syslog system, you should not be using the dom0 drives for long term log storage either. Logs should go out of the server.

Please add Ceph support. XenServer 7 should come with native Ceph and Docker support.

0
That is awkward. In the past where users where deploying spinning drives servers you required 8 GB and now where companies are moving to smaller SSD drives you require 46 GB. Space today is more costly than it was in the past for virtualization and I assume most deployments will be on SSD drives which are yet limited in terms of size vs traditional drives. I think that is a bit pushing it, make it 16 GB which is twice as much already. You are not supposed to install anything on dom0, and the only thing that can consume space is logs, but then again, companies are pushing logs out of servers to a centralized syslog system, you should not be using the dom0 drives for long term log storage either. Logs should go out of the server. Please add Ceph support. XenServer 7 should come with native Ceph and Docker support.

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.