Virtualization Blog

Discussions and observations on virtualization.

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

 

Continue reading
9658 Hits
0 Comments

XenServer 7.3: Changes to the Free Edition

Today we're pleased to announce the release of XenServer 7.3, which includes a raft of new features and improvements. Whilst you can read all about exactly what's in that release over on the release announcement blog, I wanted to provide clarity on the changes we're making to the Free Edition of XenServer as part of the release.

As many of you will be aware, XenServer is available in three editions: Free, Standard, and Enterprise. All of them are installed from the same ISO, and all are equally open source. The Standard edition is almost identical to the Free edition in terms of feature set, but includes commercial support and an extended period of hotfix availability from Citrix, whilst the Enterprise edition enables a variety of additional features.

Having carefully considered what features are in each edition, we've taken the decision to move some features out of the Free edition, and into Standard.

The full list of features being moved is:

  • Dynamic Memory Control
  • Xen Storage Motion
  • Active Directory Integration
  • Role Based Access Control
  • High Availability
  • GPU Pass-Through
  • Site Recovery Manager (Disaster Recovery)
  • XenCenter Rolling Pool Upgrade Wizard
  • Maximum Pool Size Restricted To 3 Hosts (existing larger pools will continue to work, but no new host joins will be permitted)

This will therefore make the Standard edition substantially different to the Free edition. No features are moving from Free to Enterprise. You can find all of the details in the full XenServer 7.3 feature matrix.

I suspect many readers will be asking "why?". We have thousands of customers who trust XenServer to host their workloads, and we need to make sure we can invest in the product for them. Of the many thousands of customers using the Free edition, we hope that those using it for large deployments (and likely to be using the features above) will consider purchasing a subscription to enable access not just to the features above, but also the patch/hotfix stream for each release for an extended period (roughly 7 months from release versus 3 months for Free users), access to Long Term Service Releases (up to 10 years of maintenance) and support services from Citrix.

I realise that this news will be difficult for people who make use of the Free edition of XenServer in larger environments. We have looked carefully at how the revised Free edition compares to other free virtualisation platforms on the market, and concluded that even with this change, XenServer's free feature set is still great for small deployments or home labs. Evidently Citrix will continue to add functionality to all three editions in the future: as you can see from 7.3 release notes, there is plenty going on!

As usual, you can get in touch with me via the comments function below, or on Twitter. I'll endeavour to reply as soon as practical!

Recent Comments
Sam McLeod
David, you know I hold the upmost respect for you so please don't take this personally. This is a typical, big enterprise, Micros... Read More
Thursday, 14 December 2017 02:03
David Cottingham
Hi Sam, Firstly, I'll say that I can understand where you're coming from. I recognise that there will be some people affected by ... Read More
Thursday, 14 December 2017 03:32
Sam McLeod
What happens if a host dies in one of your existing pools and you need to replace it? Unless your pool is tiny (3 or less hosts) -... Read More
Thursday, 14 December 2017 05:05
Continue reading
41873 Hits
29 Comments

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.