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XenServer Updated, Now Open Source Project

Improved performance, higher virtual CPU limits per host are new; so is simplified licensing.

Citrix has updated its Citrix XenServer server virtualization technology with a few important features and simplified licensing of its commercial version. Along with the updated version, the company announced that XenServer (sans the Citrix name) would continue to be developed and offered for free as an open source project.

"Citrix XenServer is just a fully paid version of the open source project," said Krishna Subramanian, vice president of product marketing with Citrix's Cloud Platform Group. "It's the same code...you can take the open source version and add a commercial license."

In April, Citrix announced that development of the Xen hypervisor technology, itself an open source project, would be managed by The Linux Foundation. "We did that so that other players can step up and play a bigger role in shaping its future," said Subramanian, and she explained that XenServer is following along these lines of development so that the community that's using it can contribute to its evolution. She cites Amazon, Rackspace and Terremark among companies who run open source versions of XenServer.

Citrix XenServer 6.2 has improved performance over larger limits. According to a press release, it can now run 500 VMs and 4,000 virtual CPUs on a single host. The company also claims nearly a two-fold increase in speed during boot storms. Version 6.2 also adds Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 support, and more finely tuned monitoring of memory, CPU, disk and network usage. Of more significance is licensing, which has been simplified -- it's now licensed on a per-socket basis rather than per server.

The free, open source version of XenServer 6.2 can be downloaded from the XenServer.org community portal, which is where free support will also be available for those who need help with it. Citrix will also offer support directly for those who purchase the commercial Citrix XenServer 6.2 directly or through its channel.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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