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Citrix releases first ever XenServer Long Term Service Release

Here's a point release to get a bit excited by, plus updates to VMware and Oracle hypervisors

Updates to commercial hypervisors are like buses: none for ages and then two come along at once!

How else can we explain that late last week XenServer 7.1 and ESXi 6.0 Update 3 both landed late last week?

Citrix first, because while XenServer 7.1 sounds like nothing notable it is in fact the company's first ever Long Term Service Release and therefore attracts five years of support and then another five of extended support.

If you fancy adopting the software, you'll get the non-disruptive patching that made it into Xen 4.7 the hypervisor introspection Citrix cooked up with BitDefender and something new called “ Provisioning Services (PVS) Accelerator” that is said to let you spawn more virtual desktops, at greater speed than previously possible, but with fewer servers. The software does so by caching virtual desktop images in the Accelerator, removing the need for the provisioning server to download to every client device. There's a video with a slightly deeper explanation here.

That tech is bound to XenDesktop and XenApp, as is XenServer these days as Citrix has long-since walked away from virtualising business applications other than its own wares. Which is why 7.1 gets the long-term support option: doing so synchs its cycle with XenApp and XenDesktop.

But Citrix is still up for a bit of competitive sniping: version 7.1 also adds a VM conversion tool that can migrate Linux VMs from vSphere to XenServer.

Speaking of VMware, it released ESXi 6.0 Update 3 last Friday. It gets better TLS support, optimisations for VSAN that improve performance when using all-flash and mixed media, plus an updated client that's closer to vSphere's in terms of look, feel and functions. More details here.

Lastly, for those of you who can't get enough news of minor updates to commercial hypervisors, Oracle VM Server for SPARC hit version 4.3.03 last week, with changes listed here ®

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