About XenServer 5.6 (Project Midnight Ride)

May 13, 2010

Probably you already now that the beta release of Xenserver 5.6 is available since a couple of months ago. I don’t know if you have had time to try it, but this version contains features expected really long time… Let’s look below…

  • Granular Role-based Access Controls. Administrative users can be assigned one of several roles, which govern the actions they are able to complete from XenCenter and the command-line interface (CLI).
  • Administrative Logging and Audit. Administrative changes made from XenCenter or the CLI are logged and available in the Workload Reports in XenCenter.
  • Dynamic Memory Control. This feature can increase the density of virtual machines running on a host by reducing the memory footprint of existing virtual machines so that new ones can boot.
  • Enhanced VM Snapshots. It is now possible to create full VM snapshots including the disk and memory state. Virtual machines can be easily rolled back to prior snapshot states with a “revert to snapshot” option.
  • Automated Workload Balancing & Power Management. Workload balancing (WLB) recommendations can be applied automatically without administrative intervention. Power Management features include support for wake-on-LAN and vendor-specific implementations from HP, Dell, and others.
  • StorageLink Site Recovery. Enhanced integration with storage-level replication enables recovery of an entire virtual infrastructure at a secondary disaster recovery site.
  • Citrix License Server integration. Essentials for XenServer features are now activated using a license applied to a Citrix Licensing Server.

Surely the “revert to snapshot” option will be very useful during the daily work of every system administrator and this feature fills a major gap to the competition, but remember to be careful regarding the use of snapshots, however, because the disk space used is at least equal to that currently in use by Virtual machine…
Also the introduction of memory overcommitment is a very important step for XenServer, it is a functionality that nowadays can’t miss an enterprise level hypervisor. This version of XenServer has on Xencenter a bar with two sliders, which can set the maximum and minimum value of the RAM allocated to a VM. Obviously when the two cursors meets (this is the default state when creating a new VM) there is not overcommit and we have the situation of preallocated memory than previous versions.
Probably, but it is only a hypothesis at present, during the Synergy event of these days could be announced the final release of version 5.6.


One comment

  1. […] expected (see my previous post) Citrix announced that XenServer 5.6 will be available the next May 28. The news from this […]

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