XCP-NG a free alternative to Citrix XenServer


For those who follow the virtualization segment, have surely heard of Citrix XenServer. In practice, XenServer is one of the most popular hypervisors in the world. It is aimed at enterprise and data center solutions.

XenServer is officially an open source product, however, it can be sold in "commercial editions" to anyone who needs support. On the other hand, it can be useful for tracking the installation of a complete solution.

Despite being an open source product, In 2017 Citrix imposed some restrictions on the use of the product.

Especially in terms of the number of machines supported by the free version and it also removed some features that are only available in paid versions (eg dynamic memory usage, real-time data migration, etc.).

About XCP-NG

Faced with this problem, XCP-NG arose, which is developing a free replacement for the proprietary XenServer platform for deploying and managing cloud infrastructure.

XCP-ng is characterized as an open source platform and offers a set of features taken from the free version of the popular XenServer hypervisor.

Like XenServer, the XCP-NG project Quickly implement server and workstation virtualization, offering the means to centrally manage an unlimited number of servers and virtual machines.

XCP-NG recreates the functionality that Citrix has excluded from the free version of Citrix Xen Server, starting with version 7.3 and is the result of cooperation between a community of users and companies to design an unlimited and unrestricted virtualization platform.

As main features, XCP-ng offers:

  • Modern interface - Xen Orchestra-based for virtual machine management
  • Live migration: ability to migrate virtual machines without interruption
  • Scalability: growth without any restrictions
  • Security: ensure the security of the virtual machine
  • the ability to combine multiple servers into a group
  • means of ensuring high availability
  • snapshot support
  • share shared resources using XenMotion technology

Besides all this supports live migration of virtual machines between cluster hosts and between different individual clusters / hosts (which do not have shared storage), as well as live migration of VM disks between storage sites.

The platform can work with a large number of data storage systems and is distinguished by the presence of a simple and clear interface for installation and administration.

XCP-NG 8.0

Today XCP-NG is in its version 8.0, which is positioned as a stable version, suitable for general use. Supports upgrade from XenServer to XCP-ng, ensures full compatibility with Xen Orchestra, and it is possible to move virtual machines from XenServer to XCP-ng and vice versa.

Among the main characteristics of this version we can highlight the following:

  • Adding packages to the main repository to use the ZFS file system for storage repositories. The implementation is based on the ZFS release on Linux 0.8.1. To install, simply run «yum install zfs«.
  • Ext4 and xfs support for Storage Repository (SR) is still experimental (requires installation "yum install sm-Additional-drivers«), Although no reports have yet been sent on the problems encountered.
  • Implementation of support for loading guest systems in UEFI mode;
  • Added a mode for rapid deployment of Xen Orchestra directly from the base page of the host environment interface.
  • The installation images are updated to the base of the CentOS 7.5 package. Linux kernel 4.19 and Xen 4.11 hypervisor are involved.
  • Emu-manager is completely rewritten in C language.
  • You can now create mirrors for yum, which are selected based on location. In network installation, verification of downloadable RPM packages using digital signatures is implemented.
  • By default, the installation of the cryptsetup, htop, iftop, and yum-utils packages is provided in dom0.
  • Additional protection against MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) attacks on Intel processors.

If you want to know more about it, you can visit its official website. The link is this.

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  1.   Freddy Angle said

    Excellent information