XCP-ng starts thinking long-term, for support, UEFI, storage and more

Properly FOSS version of XenServer promises at least five years of support for next release, maybe more

XCP-ng, the crowdfunded effort to deliver an open-source version of XenServer, has matured to the point at which it will offer the world a version with long-term support.

Version 8.2 of the project has earned that honour, and will be supported with bug fixes and security patches for five whole years once it emerges. The project has even suggested it could back-port future features and consider longer support.

The project’s post about the new release included the graphic below depicting “Extended lifetime support” that could run for “up to 10 years”.

XCP-ng roadmap

The XCP-ng support roadmap. Click to enlarge

Version 8.2 will add Openflow controller access, lift the host RAM ceiling to 6 TiB and allow for up to 448 vCPUs. SUSE Enterprise 12 SP5 and Ubuntu 20.4 have been added as permitted guests. Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 were banished.

Perhaps the most interesting features of the new release are currently experimental, among them a promised “complete reimplementation of the UEFI support” and a planned core scheduling tool.

“We added a XAPI method allowing you to choose the frequency of the core scheduler,” the project’s post explains. “This feature will allow you to use hyperthreading with extra bits of security, in particular regarding side channel attacks (as Spectre, Meltdown, Fallout...).”

Native support for Gluster, ZFS, XFS and CephFS has also been added, albeit as an experimental feature.

XCP-ng has come a long way in a short time: in 2017 it was a fork looking for friends. Today it is incubated by the Xen Project, under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, and looks to have a future that will carry it into the 2030s. ®

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