XenServer Review

Lots of good features, lots of limitations

Valuable Features:

High-availability options in a cluster are good.

Improvements to My Organization:

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

Room for 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.

Use of Solution:

6 months

Deployment Issues:

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

Stability Issues:

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

Customer Service:

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

Previous Solutions:

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

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).

Implementation Team:


Other Solutions Considered:

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.

Other Advice:

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.
Developer at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employeesVendor

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?

16 September 14
Senior Systems Engineer at a cloud provider with 51-200 employeesReal User
16 September 14
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