Citrix Hypervisor Review

Lots of good features, lots of limitations

What is most valuable?

High-availability options in a cluster are good.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to create a very inexpensive (nearly free) cluster of VM hosts.

What needs improvement?

Permissions granularity was very limited - we could not assign permissions on anything smaller than the entire cluster. Support for OS'es without paravirtualization-friendly device drivers was very limited - couldn't run some versions of Linux.

For how long have I used the solution?

6 months

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Clustered-host hardware needed to be identical, all-or-nothing permissions didn't work well for VM's owned by different teams.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Lots of errors, which may or may not have been important.  It was tough to assess the health of the cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

n/a - we used the free, open-source distribution of XenServer.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Used VMWare, before and after. VMWare was more expensive.

How was the initial setup?

Initial software setup of XenServer is very simple, but the hardware setup is more complex. Switching and shared-storage infrastructure needed to be mapped out in advance (which is true for any VM-host-cluster environment).

What about the implementation team?


Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Also tried oVirt, the FOSS project, similar to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. This had some very promising features, but was difficult to implement, and had some hardware and OS compatibility issues when running on CentOS.

What other advice do I have?

Citrix or third-party software would probably make it more flexible and powerful than the plain, FOSS XenServer components.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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author avatarDeveloper at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees

You are right, XenServer has lots of good features, but lots of limitations. Related to limitations, do you know how many virtual processors can XenServer allocate to a virtual machine?