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XenServer 7.6 Available
What’s New in XenServer 7.6?
XenServer 7.6 (or should we say Citrix Hypervisor?) is a Current Release (CR). Current Release versions of XenServer are designed to provide new features to users as quickly as possible. For customers more focused on long-term stability, you may want to stick with the XS 7.1 (LTSR).
XenServer 7.6, as usual, is available in three editions:
- Enterprise Edition
- Standard Edition
- Free Edition
Alike and XenServer 7.6
We are pleased to announce that Alike is compatible with XenServer 7.6. As always, we ensure that Alike fully supports each new release of XenServer through collaborating with Citrix. We have been Citrix Ready certified since 2010. As XenServer experts, we take pride in offering the #1 backup solution for XenServer.
Major New Features (Enterprise Edition)
The significant changes in 7.6 revolve around two new Enterprise features: Networking SR-IOV and Thin provisioning for block (GFS2) Storage.
For the full list of updates and details, check out the official Citrix XenServer 7.6 Release Notes.
XenServer 7.6 can now use Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) that allows a single PCI device to appear as multiple PCI devices on the physical system.
This allows you to assign one (or more) NIC Virtual Functions to a VM, enabling its network traffic to bypass the virtual switch. When configured, each VM behaves as though it is using the NIC directly, reducing processing overhead, and improving performance.
For more details, see Citrix’s Using SR-IOV enabled NICs.
Thin provisioning for shared block storage (GFS2)
You can now utilize thin provisioning for XenServer 7.6 on block-based storage (via iSCSI software initiator or Hardware HBA). This is enabled by use of GFS2.
Thin provisioning can provide very significant storage savings, especially when snapshots (which Alike uses for it’s Agentless (“Enhanced”) backup and replication functions). This is welcome news, as it can reduce the strain on your SR storage.
Please refer to Citrix’s documentation on Storage for more details.
Beyond those major new features, a few smaller updates and changes are worth noting.
The following Linux guest are now supported by Citrix in XenServer 7.6:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5
- CentOS 7.5
- Oracle Linux 7.5
- Scientific Linux 7.5
- Ubuntu 18.04
Many other changes can be found in the Release Notes, including additional support for CPUs, automatic application of hotfixes during upgrades, and more.
We’ve got answers! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Alike or support for XenServer (and Citrix Hypervisor too!)