As reported earlier today, Citrix has released XenServer 5.6 for download!
Here is a quick overview of the new features of XenServer 5.6:
- New Licensing for XenServer. Licensing for XenServer paid editions has changed. XenServer 5.6 Advanced Edition or higher requires a Citrix License Server (11.6 or higher) to run. To license these editions, you must configure Citrix Licensing and the licensing settings inside each XenServer host. An overview of licensing XenServer, including required settings, is in the Citrix XenServer 5.6 Installation Guide.For information about obtaining license files and installing a license server, navigate to the Citrix
- Role-based Access Controls. Administrative users can be assigned one of several roles, which determine which actions different types of administrators can perform in your XenServer environment.
- Dynamic Memory Control. DMC lets you change the amount of memory assigned to a virtual machine without rebooting it. DMC also lets you start additional VMs on a full host by automatically reducing the memory allocated to existing VMs in order to make space. After shutting down VMs or migrating them to another host, remaining VMs can reclaim unused physical host memory.
- Enhanced VM Snapshots. It is now possible to create full VM snapshots including the disk and memory state. An enhanced snapshots tab in XenCenter allows snapshots to be presented in a convenient “tree view”. Virtual machines can be easily rolled back to prior snapshot states with a “revert to snapshot” option.
- Automated Workload Balancing and Power Management. Workload Balancing now lets you automatically apply VM optimization recommendations (that is, balance workloads based on your preconfigured preferences) and power off automatically during low usage periods. This lets you reduce power consumption by consolidating workloads on the smallest number of hosts and powering off unused hosts. Power Management features include support for wake-on-LAN and vendor-specific implementations from HP and Dell.
- Administrative Logging and Audit. Administrative changes made from XenCenter or the CLI are logged (by username, date, time, etc) and available in the Workload Reports in XenCenter. Note: this requires installation of the Workload Balancing feature to enable the database which captures these logs.
- StorageLink Site Recovery. Enhanced integration with storage-level replication enables recovery of an entire virtual infrastructure at a secondary disaster recovery site.
- Increased performance and scale. Support limits have been doubled to 64 logical processors, 256 GB RAM, and 16 NICs per host.
- Enhanced XenCenter interface. The XenCenter administrative user interface has been enhanced in a number of areas. New features include enhanced wizards for new VM creation, VM import, new Storage Repository creation, Alerts and Logs; multi-select options; multiple DVD drives per VM; and graphic design improvements.The Updates Manager is also newly improved.
- Enhanced OS support. XenServer 5.6 now supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS/Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.4 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3.
- Add to Pools Over Time.XenServer now supports a mixture of processors from the same vendor in pools, provided these vendors employ CPU “masking” or “leveling” technology. In XenServer, this is known as Heterogeneous Pool support.
- OVF Support. Experimental features within XenCenter to support exporting and importing OVF-based virtual appliances.
- Disk Image Support.Experimental features to support directly importing standalone VMWare VMDK, Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD), Virtual Disk Image (VDI), and Windows Imaging Format (WIM) disk images into XenServer.