Citrix XenServer Basics: The Ultimate Guide - Mercury Solutions
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    Citrix XenServer Basics: The Ultimate Guide - Mercury Solutions

    Asha Devi N D | Jan 16, 2018 | 4385 Views | 0 Comments
     Citrix XenServer Basics: The Ultimate Guide - Mercury Solutions

    I believe that now everyone is continuing this amazing journey into the Citrix world. Hope as the products are getting explored one by one, like the XenApp, XenDesktop, XenMobile, it is creating an immersive experience for us into this tech-world.

    It’s time to continue now. So, let us move further with our exploration and know more about XenServer, the other product from the Citrix family.

    XenServer is a hypervisor platform released by Citrix systems. It enables the creation and management of virtualized server infrastructure.  

    In brief, it is the virtualization management platform that is optimized for desktop, application, and, the server virtualization infrastructures. It is used to host, deploy, and manage the virtual machines; distribute the CPU, networking, storage, and memory to the virtual machines, and thus meets the data center challenges of today’s business.

    XenServer Features:

    Cloud-ready: When you think of cloud and its solutions, Citrix is the go-to-vendor platform. Mention not to say, XenServer is cloud-ready especially designed for the horizontal scale and cloud-scale simplicity, performance, and, security.


    • As it is a cloud-proven virtualization platform, it is used in the majority of cloud orchestration platforms which includes Apache CloudStack, OpenStack, and, the Cloud platform.

    • The resilient architecture enables the cloud builders to cluster the hosts easily without any additional configuration or complexity.

    • As it scales up to 800 VLANs per pool, it provides the adequate isolation between the virtual machines and the users for a multi-tenant cloud environment.

    • It is an open source project and part of the Linux Foundation as the Xen Project under a GPLv2 license.


    High-performance virtual infrastructure: The infrastructure comes with a 64-bit hypervisor that has migrations live, host and virtual machines management at the centralized level, and has a set of tools for the quick running of virtual environments.


    • It takes about ten minutes to install, offers near-native performance and the best possible virtual machine density. It could be installed by using the wizard-driven utility for the server, storage, and the network setup.
    • It has a highly available and central management architecture. It shares all the management and configuration data across all the servers with no single point of failure.
    • XenMotion facilitates the movement of life and running virtual machines from one host to the other. There is no need for planned downtime to perform the upgrades.
    • The XenServer Conversion Manager gives a simple batch conversion tool that automatically converts the other virtual machines to XenServer VMs.


    Datacenter automation: XenServer increases the performance of the server, reduces the power consumption, maintains the disaster recovery plan, and streamlines critical tasks.


    • Auto restart ability protects and restarts the hypervisor or the virtual machine in case of failure.
    • Site-to-site disaster recovery plans could be set and thus it is fast to recover and also facilitates frequent testing.
    • The data center electricity consumption is lowered owing to embedded hardware features and dynamic consolidation of VMs on fewer systems.
    • The disk and metadata settings could be captured by VM Snapshots as backups, archives, and changes in the configuration.
    • It shares unused server memory between the virtual machines on the host server and thus reduces cost, enhances the performance of the application and protection.


    Advanced Integration and Management: The physical and virtual resources are integrated and as such facilitates the integration of storage, enable rapid provisioning, tiered access to VMs and granular management of the environment.  


    • The XenServer is optimized for Citrix XenDesktop deployments through local storage for the non-persistent data and the boot images.
    • The heterogeneous pools enable support for XenMotion, shared storage functionality, and high availability.
    • The role-based administration maintains the tiered access structure with different permission levels and thus enhances security.
    • Identification and diagnosis of any failure/fault in the infrastructure is readily notified with the historical report.  

    XenServer Environment:

    Citrix xenserver architecture



    XenServer makes use of several software components. They include the Xen Hypervisor.

    Xen Hypervisor: It is the hypervisor that uses the microkernel design and provides the services facilitating the multiple computer operating systems so that it is executed concurrently on the computer hardware.

    In addition to Xen hypervisor, it possesses the following:

    • Control domain[DomO]: It has been upgraded from CentOS 5.10 to CentOS 7.2.1511.
    • Xencenter: It is for the Windows client for virtual machine management.
    • Virtual machine templates used for installing the operating systems
    • Storage Manager that is built-in and supports a wide range of storage types that are file and block-based as well.
    • Tapdisk 3: It is an advanced and high-performance storage data path.
    • It has support for the SDN i.e., Software Defined Networking via the open virtual switch.
    • Further, it possesses the resource pools to simplify the management of the storage, host and the networking.


    Citrix XenServer Benefits:

    • As it is cloud-proven virtualization, it is used by the world’s largest clouds. It has become the value leader as it offers the best and broad features at low cost and has gained a better place in the marketplace.
    • It accelerates innovations and rich in features as it is open-source and community-driven. The customers receive the commercially packed and certified product, receive automated updates and patches, premier support and troubleshooting assistance.
    • It easily runs the mission-critical applications including the desktop virtualization deployments at large scale. Any of the organizations irrespective of their size may install XenServer and virtualize their environment and thus, increase their IT flexibility.
    • Any of the infrastructures like the servers, clouds, or the desktops could be virtualized with XenServer for high performance. A rich management and automation capabilities at affordable prices, it is optimizing the today’s data centers.


    Use case:

    XENIUM, the technology-centric developer is also the operator for complex websites, web applications, portals, and e-commerce solutions.

    “We saw server virtualization offering us several benefits,” explained Wojciech Kowasz, chief systems engineer at XENIUM. “Not only did it have the promise of reducing costs and complexity, but with features such as live migration we could also begin to work toward having our sites and services be more dynamic, more resilient—all without the need for operator intervention.”


    XENIUM witnessed everything they desired for after deploying XenServer environment.

    • Performance was stable even at unexpected loads
    • Saved time and effort.  
    • 10 to 15% disk reads and access times was witnessed.
    • Worked flawlessly


    Obviously, there is no deviation in the conclusion that is anything different from our previous posts regarding Citrix products. Today’s businesses are in need of virtualization solutions and XenServer gives the much-needed flexibility and performance in order to meet the IT needs.

    It is recommended to deploy XenServer for/to

    • Live relocation
    • Lower the TCO
    • Sustain the virtual infrastructure
    • Automated workflows
    • Reduced impact for system crash
    • Enhanced management and
    • Efficient disaster protection

    What do you say?

    Stay Tuned for Our continued blogs on Citrix Course.

    This content is brought to you by Mercury Solutions Limited, one of the best IT Training Company in India. Mehar Ahluwalia, the founder, with a vision of making the professionals’ career more fulfilling, is dedicated to delivering world-class IT Training programs and Certifications to the global participants.
    Tags : what is citrix XenServer, citrix XenServer benefits, citrix XenServer architecture, citrix products

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