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Citrix Hypervisor OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Citrix Hypervisor is the #7 ranked solution in our list of best Server Virtualization Software. It is most often compared to Proxmox VE: Citrix Hypervisor vs Proxmox VE

What is Citrix Hypervisor?

Citrix Hypervisor is a leading virtualization management platform optimized for application, desktop and server virtualization infrastructures. Consolidation and containment of workloads on Citrix Hypervisor enables organizations of any vertical or size to transform their business IT compute infrastructures.

Citrix Hypervisor is also known as XenServer.

Citrix Hypervisor Buyer's Guide

Download the Citrix Hypervisor Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Citrix Hypervisor Customers

U.S. Army Shared Services Center, SoftLayer, Educational Services of America, Independent Bank, and SK Telecom.

Citrix Hypervisor Video

Archived Citrix Hypervisor Reviews (more than two years old)

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OM
System Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Good GPU support, VM Live Migration, and technical support

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is to manage virtual servers under Citrix. The deployment model we are using is on-premises.

What is most valuable?

What I like the most is the support of the GPU Graphics and the VM Live migration.

What needs improvement?

Network management needs improvement because it is not very stable. In the next release, I would like to see more tools added, or included.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are approximately three hundred users.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very…

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is to manage virtual servers under Citrix.

The deployment model we are using is on-premises.

What is most valuable?

What I like the most is the support of the GPU Graphics and the VM Live migration.

What needs improvement?

Network management needs improvement because it is not very stable.

In the next release, I would like to see more tools added, or included.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are approximately three hundred users.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good.

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

Previously we used a different solution but this one is better.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple and straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This solution is open source, it's free.

What other advice do I have?

Version eight of this solution is complete.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
WJ
User at State of Alabama, Office of Information Technology
Real User
Top 20
Cost-effective, efficient, and has good support

What is our primary use case?

We migrated from VMware to XenCenter to cut costs.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution is more cost-effective and hardware-efficient with Citrix VDI.

What is most valuable?

The support for this solution is phenomenal.

What needs improvement?

The built-in networking features are a little limited.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six months.

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

Prior to this solution, we used VMware.

What is our primary use case?

We migrated from VMware to XenCenter to cut costs.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution is more cost-effective and hardware-efficient with Citrix VDI.

What is most valuable?

The support for this solution is phenomenal.

What needs improvement?

The built-in networking features are a little limited.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six months.

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

Prior to this solution, we used VMware.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Citrix Hypervisor. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PV
IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Easy-to-use for virtualization and enables us to make better use of existing resources

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a good product for virtualization and it is easy to use."
  • "The product could be faster and licensing options could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use the product primarily for server virtualization.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to grow over time because, initially, it was free. We were able to use what would have been budgeted for licensing costs in other ways.

What is most valuable?

Simply the ability to virtualize and make better use of existing resources is the most valuable aspect of this solution.

What needs improvement?

It is a very good product, so there really isn't much that needs to be added. Maybe the speed could be improved. It might be nice if the licensing cost could be improved because it is a big jump when you reach the threshold.

A good addition might be consol management in Linux. Right now I have to start in Windows to manage the system. It is not my preference.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the product for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The whole point of the product is to be scalable, so it has very good scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I never had a reason to use technical support.

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

I changed the implementation from XenServer. The product we use now is not really XenServer but XCP-ng which is built on the XenServer open source. Because of the structure of the licensing through Citrix, we changed the product, although it is built on the same source.

How was the initial setup?

The initial deployment of the product was easy. The entire deployment with testing took about one month before it was completed for production.

What about the implementation team?

I did the implementation myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are costs in addition to the standard licensing fees. In the beginning, because we had a small network, it was free. We have expanded to five physical servers so now we have to pay for all the servers. It is good for others to be aware that the product is only free to a point.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate XenServer as an eight for the product. For the pricing, I would rate it a five.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Letsogile-Baloi
CEO at IMART OFFICE CONSULTANTS
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable, highly scalable solution that offers good integration capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution integrates well with other solutions, which makes it really strong as a primary solution to deploy."
  • "The solution is too expensive and people are kind of moving away from Citrix. It's starting to become a problem. It is a primary reason that while we are rebuilding we're going to seek out open-source solutions."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for virtualization and for building other things on top of it. Mostly we sell the solution to other customers and offer them support.

What is most valuable?

The solution integrates well with other solutions, which makes it really strong as a primary solution to deploy.

What needs improvement?

The solution is too expensive and people are kind of moving away from Citrix. It's starting to become a problem. It is a primary reason that while we are rebuilding we're going to seek out open-source solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a few years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is highly scalable and can be highly integrated with other solutions, which makes it very good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. I would rate them eight out of ten.

Sometimes there are difficulties when you look at the reseller model because you need to go through the reseller to get help, and often they are just salespeople. For us, in Botswana, resellers are typically in South Africa and they are more interested in sales than assistance.

These resellers are only interested in sales. When you are an assistant or a developer like we are, they can't really support you. They can only offer licenses to you. That is actually where the problem is. They have their sales quarters. If you don't meet their quarter they'll cut you off the next time and you have to reapply and go through their checks again, which is not a Citrix problem, but a partner weakness that should be re-considered.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup has a moderate level of difficulty. Someone with a good understanding of the technology will be okay, but if someone who is new to the solution may experience challenges. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When you try to show clients Citrix, the price kind of scares them away. It's quite expensive.

What other advice do I have?

We are rebuilding our whole news infrastructure. We stopped using the solution for some things, but we will use it once we are finished with what we are currently building.

We're using a hybrid deployment model. We're also a Citrix partner.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. I really like the solution. It works well.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
FC
IT Manager at a legal firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
A free solution that's stable and easy to deploy

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is easy to deploy. It's very easy to understand problems and read logs."
  • "The solution would benefit from faster technical support."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for deploying. Usually we're deploying infrastructure based on XenServer desktop solutions.

What is most valuable?

The solution is easy to deploy. It's very easy to understand problems and read logs.

What needs improvement?

The solution would benefit from faster technical support.

The solution should add session sharing in future releases. It would be helpful if, for example, you could switch a user from one terminal server to another terminal server without loosing the session and without the need to log off and then log on again. This way we can put in place some services, without asking the user to log out. We can just move users from one server to another and the user would not notice any interruption.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for six or seven months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is extremely scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We're not satisfied with technical support. It's very slow.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is easy to deploy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is free to use.

What other advice do I have?

We use the private cloud deployment model.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It depends on what an organization requires, but I would recommend the solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Janusz Kokot
System Administrator at UM LUBLIN
Real User
A good virtualization solution for small servers that's very fast

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution for virtualization. I have about five virtual servers on it.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the solution is that it is very fast. It also works very well for physically small servers.

What needs improvement?

The USB support for the virtual server needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for half a yer.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It works very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My environment is very small, so I don't have much experience with scaling the solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What about the implementation

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution for virtualization. I have about five virtual servers on it.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the solution is that it is very fast. It also works very well for physically small servers.

What needs improvement?

The USB support for the virtual server needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for half a yer.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It works very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My environment is very small, so I don't have much experience with scaling the solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the implementation myself.

What other advice do I have?

We use the free version, not the commercial version of the solution.

We use the on-premises deployment model.

I would recommend the solution. I was looking for a solution that works well on a small server, and this solution works very well for me.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
WV
User at a marketing services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
The performance is great and you don't need many other tools

Pros and Cons

  • "The feature I find most valuable, is its performance"
  • "I think the technical support could be better."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is virtualization. 

What is most valuable?

The feature I find most valuable is its performance. It's a no "frills" solution. There aren't many tools and some may find that a little arcane, but I come from another visualization background. I like the console because you can do everything on the console, so you don't need any tools. 

What needs improvement?

This solution needs a block-level backup. We have backup solutions in place but they are pretty arcane. That is a niche, it is not filled with professional solutions. There are solutions that can do it - if you look at solutions for file system level backups, you will find many of them. But if you look for systems with block-level backup or block-level synchronization, you will see that the tools are pretty minor.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working on XenServer for about twelve years now, mainly on premise.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable. It's much more stable than VMware or any other tool that we've tested. One might get away with freeware solutions, but if you need support, I recommend using the commercial solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale with this solution. I can scale up and scale down when I need to. And for memory and the VCPU's, it's even simpler because you can simply select that interface, and it will follow. Since I started using the 7.6 version, I can move virtual hosts around, so that's all working extremely well without any hurdles or hiccups. Our company has 600 employees and about 60% of them are using XenServer.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think the technical support could be better because we have received support directly from the Dell server instead of from Citrix directly. It is difficult to get hold of support during office hours and sometimes will take a while to get the right person for the right answer. But apart from that, the quality of the answers and the support is very good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. It starts very easy and if you have special niche cases that are not provided, they are standard to install. You would, however, need to get yourself comfortable with the console, but if you have a Linux background, you will find that it is very easy. I did 90% of the installation myself, but we used third parties for special niche cases. We also needed support from Dell because we had some issues during startup with some drivers that were provided by Dell since we are mainly using Dell hardware.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others would be that there is no one golden bullet when choosing a virtualization platform. It depends on the careful planning of what kind of service you plan to provide to your users. Ask questions like: What is running on those systems? What platforms? What are your minimum demands? 

There's something else that's fairly important because the virtualization market is rapidly shifting towards a total overhaul. And efforts are being made on the Linux site to run armed and risk solutions in the data center. So I hope that XenServer will adapt to that too.

This solution has special niche cases where it doesn't work as you planned. But in general, I am very happy with the server. I will give it a rating of nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RW
Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
A solution that offers poor manageability, poor shared storage implementation, and needs better support

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for Citrix worker resources.

What is most valuable?

The price is the solution's most valuable feature.

What needs improvement?

The manageability of the solution needs improvement. It's an extremely bad product to handle.  The solution needs to offer better implementation of shared storage.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is not stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable.  I don't like the cluster functionality, but it's scalable. You can put a new service inside, and it works. The only thing is the shared storage, which does not have a good…

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for Citrix worker resources.

What is most valuable?

The price is the solution's most valuable feature.

What needs improvement?

The manageability of the solution needs improvement. It's an extremely bad product to handle. 

The solution needs to offer better implementation of shared storage.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is not stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. 

I don't like the cluster functionality, but it's scalable. You can put a new service inside, and it works. The only thing is the shared storage, which does not have a good implementation. With LVM, it's a bad idea to use real partitioning. It's advisable instead to use a container file like Hyper-V or VMware.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is too slow. It takes too long. Especially in comparison with VMware. Their the support is much better.

How was the initial setup?

In most cases the set up is straightforward. In special cases, especially for shared storage, it's not a great implementation experience.

What other advice do I have?

We're using the on-premises deployment model.

I would advise others to only to use it with functionality where the high availability is available through other mechanisms, like Citrix, and not to use the features from the product itself.

I'd rate the solution four out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CC
Network Engineeer at a non-tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
A simple virtualization solution that is free to try and deploy in a feature-limited version

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a dependable solution for virtualization with a good community for product support."
  • "Assigning the order of virtual server startup is not very easy and this can be improved."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use of the product is for the purpose of server virtualization. It is used for virtualizing our web servers.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides a free, easy means of virtualization which would otherwise be costly to implement.

What is most valuable?

I'm currently using the free version, so I'm limited as to what I find the most valuable in the broader set of product features. For me, just the ability to virtualize servers is the most valuable.

What needs improvement?

To improve the product, I would like to be able to use the high availability of XenServer but the free version does not have that feature. I would really like to have a different trial option so I could try out the broader set of available options even if it is for a limited time.

It's pretty complicated to set up the server order and that can be simplified in the product. If a server shuts down the order in which the virtual servers will come up should be something that I can designate easily. The order can make a difference in a successful startup.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the product for more than a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As far as stability, I haven't had a problem. I highly recommend the product and I think it deserves good feedback as to stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. I really like the cloning option as it makes scaling easy. I don't have a problem with enhancing my setup. I'm very satisfied with it. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I never request any technical support for the product directly from the company so I can not speak to the product support directly. I found the community and the forum very helpful when I had questions. The people there are very helpful. It is easy to find a solution if I have any problems.

How was the initial setup?

The setup for the product is pretty straightforward. I use it straight out of the box in the limited free version on two servers that allows me to configure virtualization. It's a pretty easy solution to install and use.

What about the implementation team?

I installed the product myself. I did not require assistance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is nice to be able to have a product that is free to use. Although it is simple, it does what I need it to do. The version you pay for has more features. I know that I would like to use some of the features in the paid version, but I can not justify the cost at this time.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate XenServer as an eight. There are some problems, but it is also not the full release version.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AR
User at techopen.net.do
Real User
A cost-effective solution for creating VM templates from snapshots, and vice-versa

What is our primary use case?

I use XenServer to migrate all the old servers of my clients. I think it is a robust, proven and free option.

How has it helped my organization?

I find it very easy to manage and at a cost that small customers would never refuse (free).

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the possibility of creating virtual machine templates from a snapshot and vice versa. It saves me many hours of work.

What needs improvement?

I would like the possibility of updating the hypervisor by applying security patches. In the free version, it is a bit annoying.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2011.

What is our primary use case?

I use XenServer to migrate all the old servers of my clients. I think it is a robust, proven and free option.

How has it helped my organization?

I find it very easy to manage and at a cost that small customers would never refuse (free).

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the possibility of creating virtual machine templates from a snapshot and vice versa. It saves me many hours of work.

What needs improvement?

I would like the possibility of updating the hypervisor by applying security patches. In the free version, it is a bit annoying.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2011.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JJ
Technical Specialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Offers full control over our virtual machines and is budget-friendly

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution allows the end users to clone, start, stop, or remotely control their VMs."
  • "The self-service user portal needs to be more granular and be more customizable."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is for cloud automation.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution allows the end users to clone, start, stop, or remotely control their VMs.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the cost; it is a free product.

What needs improvement?

The self-service user portal needs to be more granular and be more customizable.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is great, so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, so far so good.

There are approximately two hundred users, with their roles being QA and development. I do expect that the usage will increase a little bit.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is a paid option for this solution that comes with support, but with the free version that I am using, it is not supported. That is probably a weakness in most corporate environments, but we use it for QA and stuff of that nature.

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

Previously we were using vCenter from VMware. Our company was purchased and split in half, and I didn't know if we would be continuing the enterprise licensing with VMware so I had to find a free solution. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

It took about four weeks to deploy. We have a small environment.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the deployment personally, and I am the person who maintains the solution for now.

What was our ROI?

Had I been using the paid version, at $6,000 for an annual license, I believe that it would have paid for itself already.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We use the free version, so there is no charge. To subscribe to the paid version with support, it is approximately $6,000 per year. There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at VMware's vRealize Automation, but it was eliminated due to our budget constraints. 

What other advice do I have?

I really like this solution, but it is not widely known. I'm really surprised that more people don't know about it. I find that it suits our needs pretty well.

Considering what I am getting for the cost I would rate this solution a ten out of ten. There are more powerful solutions out there, but they're very costly.

If I were paying for the support then I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MahdiBahmani
Solution Architect, IT Consultant at Merdasco - Rayan Merdas Data Prosseccing
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
It is a good solution for central maintenance and management panels.

What is our primary use case?

We use this primarily for core banking, automative industry, data applications, and more.

What is most valuable?

We find there are good central maintenance and management panels.

What needs improvement?

It needs improvement with the securit 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it provides good performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is good. We have less than 100 people currently using the solution. 

How is customer service and technical support?

We have in-house IT tech support that helps us with solving tech issues.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy and we can do…

What is our primary use case?

We use this primarily for core banking, automative industry, data applications, and more.

What is most valuable?

We find there are good central maintenance and management panels.

What needs improvement?

It needs improvement with the securit 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it provides good performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is good. We have less than 100 people currently using the solution. 

How is customer service and technical support?

We have in-house IT tech support that helps us with solving tech issues.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy and we can do it quickly.

What about the implementation team?

I advise customers to consider pricing and licensing. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing and licensing is so important. Customers do consider the price seriously. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Systems Engineer at a cloud provider with 51-200 employees
Vendor
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?

in-house

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.
it_user2652
Project Manager at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Top 20Popular
Highly recommended virtualization software to manage virtual guests

Valuable Features:

Xen is an open source virtualization server widely used in IT. It provides simple and robust commands to manage Xen environment for managing virtual hosts.Backup and recovery of virtual hosts are simple. It can be managed remotely with XenCenter. It supports all client OS like windows, linux etc !!

Room for Improvement:

It requires system with large number of CPUs and large number of memory to support guest operating systems. Not able to export virtual hosts in other virtualization softwares.

Use of Solution:

I have been using Xen for 4 servers now and still using it. 

Other Advice:

Highly recommended and suited for administrators having sound knowledge of open source commands. !!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Manager Network Operations at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We've been able to reduce our physical hardware and make more efficient use and allocation of those resources.

What is most valuable?

  • Cost effective
  • Performance
  • Overall simplicity

How has it helped my organization?

Since XenServer was the chosen platform from the start of our virtualization implementation, the improvements have been significant. Such improvements include the overall reduction of physical hardware, more efficient use and allocation of hardware resources, recovery points, storage utilization (when combined with dedupe), functional delivery of role based servers, and overall server management.

What needs improvement?

  • The community and Citrix would be wise to build more partnerships, in particular with backup/recovery vendors. XenServer seriously lacks options in the shrink wrap backup-solution field.
  • Develop a web-based management interface. There are community developed interfaces, but none specifically supported.
  • Simplify block-level storage management. Disk chains can get complex over time and require a high degree of patience to clean up, especially with pooled storage repositories.
  • Test the guest tools more thoroughly!

For how long have I used the solution?

7 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Basic deployment is very easy. Multi-pathing storage does require a more advanced level of switching knowledge, but there is no shortage of documentation and examples to help implement.

Like any solution, plan your storage and networking wisely.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

XenServer hosts have never had stability issues. The guest tools have definitely had stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Never had issues with scalability. In fact, I even had good success with processor masking in order to extend some life in an older server that was performing well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

From a customer-service perspective, there really isn't much that can be said. I don't have Citrix calling me to discuss XenServer. All service is community driven.

Technical Support:

Throughout my use of XenServer, I've opened about 3 cases with Citrix. Each time the engineer I worked with was very knowledgeable and always assisted in resolving my issue.

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

No other option was used. I tested Hyper-V and, at the time, MS did not have a good solution to live migration.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was simple and quick. I was able to begin with local storage and move my virtual machines to network storage at my leisure without any issues or downtime.

We've used standard networking, iSCSI multi-pathing, and bonded NFS. All have worked well.

What about the implementation team?

All in-house.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user331830
Chief Technology Officer at PTSO
Vendor
We're not tied to a single piece of hardware so we can quickly adjust, but it needs to gain more market share to incentivize improvement.

Valuable Features

Basic virtualization, we used it before we already had the license as we’re a Citrix shop, so it’s cost effective. If we were looking for another solution, we wouldn't go with it.

Improvements to My Organization

  • Eease of maintenance
  • Ability to move around regardless of hardware
  • We're not tied to single piece of hardware, so if a piece of hardware fails we can quickly adjust

Room for Improvement

All partners will build their apps around Hyper-V and vSphere, so XenServer needs to gain more market share with better relationship with their partners so that they’re incentivized to improve XenServer. It’s not functionality that will drive me away, it’s that I can’t integrate as well as with other vendors.

Stability Issues

We rarely have issues. I come across bugs once in a while, but that’s pretty rare.

Scalability Issues

It’s highly scalable, haven’t run into any hardware issues that would prevent growth. We don’t have any old, legacy hardware we’re tiring to fit in.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Very good, they get us to the right level technician pretty quickly so we’re not just walking through a checklist. We get someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Initial Setup

Pretty straightforward.

Implementation Team

We figured it out on our own. Good documentation and set of options is less to roll out.

Other Advice

Research the different partners you have to work with throughout your organization and determine how well they work with Hyper-V and vSphere as opposed to XenServer.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Valentin Radu
Virtual Infrastructure Admin at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
High availability is good, but during deployment there were issues with the iSCSI multipath setup.

What is most valuable?

The high availability facility.

How has it helped my organization?

Use of this solution has reduced our costs, and we have a collection of over three 42U server rack cabinets.

What needs improvement?

The web management provided by Citrix needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used XenServer since 2012.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had some issues with the iSCSI multipath setup.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some older versions of the Intel 550 chipset caused some instability with XenServer.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: It's good. Technical Support:…

What is most valuable?

The high availability facility.

How has it helped my organization?

Use of this solution has reduced our costs, and we have a collection of over three 42U server rack cabinets.

What needs improvement?

The web management provided by Citrix needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used XenServer since 2012.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had some issues with the iSCSI multipath setup.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some older versions of the Intel 550 chipset caused some instability with XenServer.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's good.

Technical Support:

It's good.

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

We had a previous solution and changed because the solution lacked some features that we needed.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

The whole setup was done in-house.

What was our ROI?

It's large enough that it is appreciated by management.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • VMWare
  • Hyper-V

What other advice do I have?

Just use the best solution for your own business.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user3756
Director of Infrastructure at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Inexpensive, but hard to maintain

Valuable Features:

Much cheaper than other major Hypervisors (VMware, Hyper-V). Easy to install and use at the beginning.

Room for Improvement:

Hard to maintain system because Xen's management tool (XenCenter) isn't very useful. For example XenCenter does not have any orchestration features (as opposed to SCOM, SCCM, etc.. from MS). However Xen provides APIs to develop other tools. As a result, Xen is cheap but a good value.

Valuable Features:

Much cheaper than other major Hypervisors (VMware, Hyper-V). Easy to install and use at the beginning.

Room for Improvement:

Hard to maintain system because Xen's management tool (XenCenter) isn't very useful. For example XenCenter does not have any orchestration features (as opposed to SCOM, SCCM, etc.. from MS). However Xen provides APIs to develop other tools. As a result, Xen is cheap but a good value.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
sumodirjo
Senior Site Infrastructure Engineer at Kurungsiku
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Full virtualization solution that you can start with almost zero cost

Valuable Features:

XenServer have four different editions: Free, Advanced, Enterprise, Platinum. You can ask for free license at no cost but you have to renew it each year. The free edition lacks some features that are only available on the other three editions. We can easily access XenServer from XenCenter; we can even manage multiple XenServer from a single XenCenter.

Room for Improvement:

XenCenter is not available on Mac OS X or Linux, so we can only manage XenServer(s) from Windows. XenServer also lack of web based administration interface. We have to install XenServer on a dedicated machine, we can’t even have XenServer dual boot with another OS because XenServer installation will wipe the whole drive before installation. The processor that we use has to support virtualization (Intel-VT or AMD-V).

Other Advice:

Good alternative of VMware ESXi, you can use free version to try the product first and perhaps move to the paid version if you need support or you need features that is not available in the free version.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1266
Network Manager at a local government with 51-200 employees
Vendor
XenServer revolutionized my enterprise to where there is no downtime. Sometimes specific configurations can be difficult.

Valuable Features:

XenServer is my favorite virtualization product. After previewing Vmware, Xen, and Hyper-V, I found this to be the easiest. You don't have to know linux to use. I like that XenServer can import virtual machines from any of the other hypervisors. I use scheduled snapshots and archiving, to where I don't have to worry if my machines are backed up. XenMotion is a breeze and makes it extremely easy to upgrade or change out servers. I also like that you can have heterogeneous pools with XenServer Advanced or above.

Room for Improvement:

You have to set limits on scheduled snapshots, otherwise it won't let you take more. I have a limit of 7 days, with daily snapshots. The free version is somewhat limited in features. It is best for testing or small organizations. Something that might be a con is that when all of your servers are virtualized, you may not need some of your IT staff.

Other Advice:

I use this to host all of my servers and my virtual desktops. This has saved my organization a ton of money. Although there is a high initial cost, it has paid for itself in the long run. If you are planning on doing a VDI solution, I would recommend using the same company for virtualization. For XenDesktop, use XenServer; for Vmware VDI, use ESXI. To test the full features of XenServer, try out the open source equivalent- Xen Cloud Platform.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1125
Network Engineer at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Highly recommended for virtualization, as it deals effectively with data backup, data recovery, and data storage.

Valuable Features:

• Simple and highly optimized performance • Distinctive storage integration characteristic, through which the administrator directly leverages characteristics of industry’s most important arrays. • XenServer backup and recovery pursues an agent based strategy. Using this, the client can gain an application level of understanding. • This server utilizes sophisticated WLB, which confines Central Processing Units, memory, disk Input/output, and network Input/output data. It also gives two optimization modes. • Presents an exclusive characteristic of provisioning services, which offer streamlined supervision and considerable storage saving. • It is examined and controlled by the XenCenter which may be installed on one or more windows personal computers or servers, which means there is no load on the XenServer host. • Provides an excellent free virtualization suite compared to other servers and has top performance for Windows and Linux OS.

Room for Improvement:

• Bigger footprint than VMware, along with dependence on Linux in Dom. • There are only some noteworthy areas. Also, it requires or depends in some cases, added characteristics on third party solutions.

Other Advice:

Selecting any server virtualization solution, more often than not, relies on the client’s particular needs and on hand development tools & communication. XenServer offers some free, but limited solutions like the licensing, hardware, management applications, and services and characteristics, but support has a high price if the full function version is required. In the case of the free version, XenServer offers an excellent virtualization solution, more so than other servers.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1104
Data Center Expert at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Xenserver - Opensource virtualization platform, definitely worth testing and exploring

Valuable Features:

The free software includes the advanced features, like migration of virtual machines from one host to another without interrupting the services, and active directory integration. Xen hypervisor is open source. Xen hypervisor is installed on bare metal and provides high performance. Real time performance monitoring Hot swappable disks and NICs Unlimited Virtual machines, Memory Management Console Virtual Machine template

Room for Improvement:

Xenservers need a 64 bit system with IntelVT or AMD V technology for windows guests. Management console only supports Windows Windows guests are well supported, but Linux guests have limited support. Its list of supported Linux guests is quite small.

Other Advice:

Xenserver provides numerous features like, Xenmotion - live migration of virtual machines, real time performance monitoring, high performance using bare metal installation, and it's all absolutely free. It provides unlimited virtualization . Xenserver has a unique workload balancing technique which captures CPU, memory, network, and disk data. It may lack certain features, but it can satisfy many environments. In my opinion, Xenserver provides better features for free, making it the best for home, lab, and research purposes.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1020
Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
XenServer Free Virtualization Platform is one of the most full-featured free hypervisors available.

Valuable Features:

XenServer Free Virtualization Platform is one of the most full-featured free systems available. It's main advantage over the free VMware ESXi hypervisor is that the management applications is Windows-based and free for download. This for me is the main reason why we have adopted it and in production use for the last three (3) years.Overall, XenServer Free edition is easy to install and configure. It's dialogues are straight-forward and the Windows-based management application interface is also very effective. It gets the job done in a visual way and is really a great help for novice users of hypervisor systems.

Room for Improvement:

- New versions removed the option to automatically start a virtual machine on power-up. - Host OS consumes more memory than competing products. - No high-availability and clustering options I have been using the free XenServer product for the past three (3) years and I'm very satisfied with it.

Other Advice:

The product is free to download and use. It's also very easy to install and configure. The one good thing about this free and open source product is its very good management software. Other competing products only offer web-based management with limited features, unlike the feature set that XenCenter's management software has to offer.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.