After three leisurely years, Citrix releases second long-term-service hypervisor

Version 8.2 supports bigger hosts, improves network security and bins old Windows versions as guests

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In around 2013 Citrix stopped trying to keep up with VMware and Microsoft in the server virtualisation market. The company therefore slowed development of its XenServer hypervisor, but kept it alive and suggested it as a fine underpinning for its own products –especially for virtual desktops – but not as the foundations of a private cloud.

XenServer is based on the open-source Xen Project that, as is the case with such things, updates quite frequently. So in February 2017 Citrix created its first ever long-term-support hypervisor release.

And today it's issued the second.

In the three years since the product has changed name – it's now Citrix Hypervisor rather than XenServer. Which means the sequel to XenServer 7.1 is Citrix Hypervisor 8.2.

We're guessing Citrix's marketing team don't get a say in this stuff.

The new release rolls up all the changes made since version 7.1, including support for hosts with six terabytes of RAM and up to 448 logical CPUs. TLS 1.2 is mandatory for network traffic between the hypervisor and the outside world and support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 has been binned.

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Another notable omission is the removal of support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 with or without SP1 as guest operating systems. More recent versions of Windows Server, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, RHEL, SUSE, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, CoreOS, Scientific Linux and even KeoKylin Linux remain supported guests. A full list of updates can be found here.

The new release will be supported for five years, with the option to shell out for a further half-decade of Citrix's care and attention.

Which is welcome news for those who've splashed on Citrix in recent months as they rushed to build work-from-home infrastructure. ®

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