With the 64-bit open-source Xen hypervisor at its core, Citrix® XenServer Dell Edition™ is a powerful virtualization solution that enables efficient resource consolidation, utilization, dynamic provisioning, and integrated systems management. XenServer Dell Edition has a small foot print and is optimized to run from an internal flash storage in Dell PowerEdge™ servers. Dell and Citrix have partnered to bring pre-qualified and virtualization-ready platforms for today’s dynamic and growing data centers. This guide provides information on Citrix XenServer Dell Edition features, supported hardware, reference configurations, and best practices.
Citrix XenServer Dell Edition Features
Citrix XenServer Dell Edition is factory installed from Dell on select PowerEdge servers. This reduces the installation and deployment time required and simplifies the deployment process to get your infrastructure ready to use. With minimal configuration, the XenServer host is available to run virtual machines.
Citrix XenServer Dell Edition comes pre-installed with Dell OpenManage™ Server Administrator. This enables systems management right out of the box without any additional need to install an agent on the host.
The XenServer Dell Edition includes a new XenServer Local Console user interface to enable local administration of the host. XenServer Local Console enables users to configure and view host specific properties such as management network configuration, local storage for virtual machines, etc. XenCenter, the standard Microsoft® Windows® management console for the XenServer, is also available.
XenServer Dell Edition is optimized for a smaller disk footprint and writes to flash storage. The majority of the XenServer Dell edition file system is Read Only and thus provides a tighter control over the XenServer operating environment. The XenServer Dell Edition host agent software has been significantly optimized to minimize the number of write cycles to the flash storage. XenServer writes to flash storage only when something important has changed and must be recorded. Write minimization helps improve the life of the flash storage.
Running XenServer Dell Edition on a server’s internal flash storage provides improved reliability over running on traditional hard disks. Flash storage does not have moving parts and is more reliable than a hard disk.
Since XenServer resides on the server’s internal flash storage, there is no need for local hard disks on the server. XenServer hosts can connect to remote iSCSI or NFS storage and take advantage of features such as XenMotion to minimize virtual machine downtime and workload migration.
To improve reliability of software upgrades, the XenServer Dell Edition image contains a primary and secondary copy of the XenServer file system. Any time an update is applied, the secondary copy gets updated leaving the primary copy in a known good state. The secondary copy becomes the primary after a successful upgrade. An update to the XenServer host can be applied using the XenServer local console or XenCenter.
Citrix XenServer Dell Edition is certified and fully supported by Dell for select server and storage configurations. Both Dell and Citrix have worked closely to provide the highest quality product and user experience.