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.
- Support for GFS2, including thin provisioning on block storage (experimental feature) for virtual disk storage repositories, as well as a significant increase in virtual disk size: from 2TBs to 16TBs
- Networking SR-IOV: Pass-Through of Virtual Functions, enabling XenServer to use Single Root I/O Virtualization that allows a single PCI device to appear as multiple PCI devices on the physical system
- Larger XenPool size: XenServer now supports up to 64 hosts participating in a XenPool.
- 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
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,