Citrix XenServer 6.2 is the latest incarnation of the Xen based open source virtualization family, with the parent company XenSource Inc, being acquired by Citrix in 2007. The XenSource products have subsequently been repackaged into Citrix products. Some variants of Xen are still being developed as open source projects under the xen.org banner.
XenServer is a hypervisor, which is a small piece of software which can be loaded and run directly on hardware instead of as an application running on top of an operating system. This allows XenServer to deliver high levels of performance, allowing increased scalability and enhanced security. XenServer is based on the CENTOS Linux operating system and has been optimised to run as a hypervisor to provide bare metal capability, allowing many instance of virtual machines to be hosted on physical hardware.
Citrix XenServer 6.2 Enterprise Edition is available as a free download from the Citrix website, with the resilient features such as XenMotion and management capabilities including XenCenter included in the package.
Citrix Essential for XenServer provides extended storage integration, automated stage management and dynamic workload balancing. Extended Storage Integration using StorageLink technology which allows seamless integration with third party storage inrfrastructure, array and backup solutions.
Automated Stage Management which provides workflow capabilities to allow the automated building, testing and staging of XenServers.
Dynamic Workload Balancing extends the XenMotion features available in the free XenServer product by enabling automated, policy-based movement of live virtual machines across physical servers based on preset rules and thresholds.
By dynamically migrating virtual machines to the optimal location in the resource pool based on changing demand, performance bottlenecks can be prevented with no manual intervention.