XenServer 5.0

Well after lots of Microsoft action this year, its time for some fun stuff. The fun begins with XenServer which I am working on at the moment.

I am very impressed with the how XenServer has progressed since version 4 and man it's fast.

I have the XenServer 5.0 partner e-learning (I had the version 4.0 last year which was very good) which has been improved, in terms of where the content goes, and the labs are much easier to access. I've been making good progress so I think I will take a crack at the exam next week, just 4 modules, an admin guide and Citrixxperience to work though icon_wink.gif

Comments

  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    stupidboy wrote: »
    Well after lots of Microsoft action this year, its time for some fun stuff. The fun begins with XenServer which I am working on at the moment.

    I am very impressed with the how XenServer has progressed since version 4 and man it's fast.

    I have the XenServer 5.0 partner e-learning (I had the version 4.0 last year which was very good) which has been improved, in terms of where the content goes, and the labs are much easier to access. I've been making good progress so I think I will take a crack at the exam next week, just 4 modules, an admin guide and Citrixxperience to work though icon_wink.gif

    Good luck with that. I have noticed some very good jobs in the UK if you have XenServer experience.
  • stupidboystupidboy Member Posts: 470
    Turgon wrote: »
    Good luck with that.

    Thanks.
    Turgon wrote: »
    I have noticed some very good jobs in the UK if you have XenServer experience.

    I wonder if that's why recruitment companys keep calling me icon_wink.gif

    I think there is a good market for XenApp with/and XenServer here in the UK. It is a heap load cheaper than VMware and company's already using XenApp (or Presentation Server) get a little extra (for their cash) for going XenSever.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    stupidboy wrote: »
    Thanks.



    I wonder if that's why recruitment companys keep calling me icon_wink.gif

    I think there is a good market for XenApp with/and XenServer here in the UK. It is a heap load cheaper than VMware and company's already using XenApp (or Presentation Server) get a little extra (for their cash) for going XenSever.

    hehehe..yes I think you will do fine for the moment! I would happily train up in this too but there just isn't time. Oops more Ipv6 to learn now.. ;)
  • Hyper-MeHyper-Me Banned Posts: 2,059
    I was under the impression that XenServer wasnt very broadly utlilized, at least in the US.

    XenApp, on the other hand, I can see the demand for.
  • stupidboystupidboy Member Posts: 470
    Hyper-Me wrote: »
    I was under the impression that XenServer wasnt very broadly utlilized, at least in the US.

    XenApp, on the other hand, I can see the demand for.

    We have seen a few orders come back in asking for re-quotes on XenServer and even HyperV where we originally quoted on VMware. I guess the state of the economy has something to do with this.

    One of our largest customers is looking at rebuilding their Presentation Server 4.0 farm on to XenServer with XenApp 5. Citrix are quoting figures of 50-75% performance improvement over their competitors running it this way (there is even a little check box in the interface to enable this optimisation) :0)
  • astorrsastorrs Member Posts: 3,139 ■■■■■■□□□□
    stupidboy wrote: »
    We have seen a few orders come back in asking for re-quotes on XenServer and even HyperV where we originally quoted on VMware. I guess the state of the economy has something to do with this.

    One of our largest customers is looking at rebuilding their Presentation Server 4.0 farm on to XenServer with XenApp 5. Citrix are quoting figures of 50-75% performance improvement over their competitors running it this way (there is even a little check box in the interface to enable this optimisation) :0)
    I know a few large clients looking at dual hypervisors - XenServer for their large XenApp farms and ESX for everything esle. It's purely a price decision driving them.

    ESX 4 and XenServer 5 are comparable for XenApp workloads these days. Welcome to VRC has some fair benchmarks.too.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    astorrs wrote: »
    I know a few large clients looking at dual hypervisors - XenServer for their large XenApp farms and ESX for everything esle. It's purely a price decision driving them.

    ESX 4 and XenServer 5 are comparable for XenApp workloads these days. Welcome to VRC has some fair benchmarks.too.

    This is very interesting. Given that most organisations other than banks and defense are strapped for cash, should the VMWare hippies be concerned about the price leverage of Citrix? Or does it really only come into play if the organisation already has Citrix deployed i.e XenApp? How does Citrix stack up against VMWare for a greenfield site deployment?
  • stupidboystupidboy Member Posts: 470
    Turgon wrote: »
    This is very interesting. Given that most organisations other than banks and defense are strapped for cash, should the VMWare hippies be concerned about the price leverage of Citrix? Or does it really only come into play if the organisation already has Citrix deployed i.e XenApp? How does Citrix stack up against VMWare for a greenfield site deployment?

    I honestly think that companies are short of cash and the price point is the deciding factor. XenServer has come on some way but VMware still offers much more in the way of features and ease of use.

    XenServer will be a contender at some point. If Citrix continue they way they have from version 4 to version 5 then we might see a head to head in 2 -3 versions time where the features match up and the only difference is price.

    Oh and I passed the XenServer 5.0 (1Y0-A05) exam today. I scored a 91% which was a little disappointing, I was only uncertain on one question (due to wording). However, that's another exam update down.

    I used:
    • Citrix Partner training, which is lacking some areas and needs the admin and VM guides just to complete the coverage. The online lab access was the best part.
    • The XenServer 5.0 Admin guide, which is heavy on CLI but useful.
    • Good old citrixxperience study guide and off-line test engine. The guide is (as always) outstanding, but the off-line test engine has several errors were the wrong answer is flagged as correct but the detailed answer explains the correct answer. I recommend both for other A09 candidates.
    Hope this helps.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    How does Hyper Visor and all the windows RDP stuff stack up in the Citrix is cheaper argument? Someone I spoke with recently challenged the assertion that Citrix is cheaper on the grounds that Windows offers a lot of virtualization features these days. Im not an authority on this so are there any grounds for this point of view?
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I use XenServer at work and I really miss some of the "advanced" features from VMware. For example, we had a VM outgrow it's virtual disks recently, and the storage repository (i.e. a LUN) wasn't large enough to allow resizing of the disks, so today I had to fix this. It's no problem in VMware since you can extend the datastore online (for example, create another LUN and add it online as an extent in your datastore). In XS you can't extend an SR if anything is using it (at least for software iSCSI, which we're using... I've read that it works on FC).

    Bringing down a large number of production VMs is a hassle (or even a few for that matter), so we decided to create a new SR on a new LUN, then move the VM there. In VMware this would incur zero downtime because of Storage VMotion, and is super easy... just a couple of clicks in the vCenter client and relax while the process completes.

    In XS you can shutdown the VM, manually export it to a workstation or server running the XenCenter client, manually import it to the new SR, then manually reconfigure settings that got changed in the process such as MAC addresses, then manually delete the old VM (then manually make sure everything was deleted, since the GUI is flaky). Or, you shutdown the VM and use the command line to copy each virtual disk from the old SR to the new SR, one by one, then reconfigure the VM to use the new disks instead of the old ones, then delete the old disks. Either way, it can be quite time consuming.

    The CLI is also kind of troublesome, and if you need to do anything remotely advanced you HAVE to use the CLI since the GUI is very limited. On the one hand, the CLI is very scriptable, so for example the second option in the previous paragraph could be scripted if you are doing that process often enough to justify writing a script. However, since it's so scriptable, just using it day to day can be a pain. There is a lot of inconsistency, for example some commands require using a GUID of something, but with other commands you can just use the name of it, and still others let you use either. Also the help info for some of the commands are just plain wrong, not to mention the documentation is riddled with typos (I recently read through a lot of it while studying for 1Y0-A09).

    Finally, don't make too many assumptions about the pricing. Last year when pricing out a VDI deployment the rep for our software reseller just totally dismissed VMware View as "massively overpriced", and pushed XenDesktop instead. I pushed back and got pricing for both, and it turned out that View was nearly the same price (<5% difference), and had some big advantages, such as VI Enterprise for the VDI systems (versus free XenServer) and software assurance plus support (versus SA only, and IIRC support calls are $350 each). We ended up with XD anyway for a couple technical reasons, but pricing was not one of them. That was my first experience with that software reseller and it did not leave me with a good impression.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant, I just spent much of a Saturday working with the limitations of XS. icon_cool.gif
    stupidboy wrote: »
    Oh and I passed the XenServer 5.0 (1Y0-A05) exam today. I scored a 91% which was a little disappointing, I was only uncertain on one question (due to wording). However, that's another exam update down.
    This is scary, I just got back from the A09 and I also got a 91%!! icon_lol.gif I read the install and admin guides, and relied on work experience to get me through it. Unfortunately I had to cancel my trip to Synergy so this exam was not free. I took it during a xe vdi-copy that took 3 hours.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
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