So, I have to say that Citrix got my attention by offering Xenserver with Xenmotion and Xencenter for free. First, to download the software you have to give up some of your personal information. For this you get Xenserver, a license file, Xencenter which is a enterprise class virtualization suite. Now I’m sure no one expected that Citrix would give everything away for free so High Availability (HA), Dynamic provisioning, etc are missing.
Like Hyper-V you need hardware VT and x64 processors to power on vm guests so old hardware is out but this is not a problem since most servers today will have a capable processor in it as well as good desktops. For a first look though I used a couple vm guests using VMware Workstation and Openfiler, not a production setup but good for testing. The install and setup process was very simple when compared with ESX and Virtual Center. They all pretty much have the same look and feel in my opinion so using XenCenter and getting use to where thing were was easy. iSCSI and CIFS setup was simple as well. I could not power on a vm guest in this setup but that’s to be expected.
My first impression is two thumbs up for sure and I can’t wait to get this on dedicated hardware. If you want to see whats new in Citix Xenserver 5 go to XenServer5.com. They have good videos for the reading impaired too. And step by step instructions can be found over at HowtoForge.com.