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New Features Available from Citrix XenServer 6


Citrix, an industry leader in software providing virtualization platforms, has released an upgrade to its popular XenServer program.  XenServer 6 has been optimized to work even better with cloud infrastructure and features enhanced scalability and better performance for both networking and virtualized desktop use.  

In addition, the new version of XenServer will allow users to link into System Center Virtual Machine Manager's 2012 Console, a feature eagerly awaited from Microsoft.  

XenServer 6 is still based on Xen hypervisor version 4.1, but includes new features that should prove of use to enterprise users.  One of the most exciting is the use of Open vSwitch as the network stack.  Since Open vSwitch now manages the stack by default, virtual networking features can be distributed network-wide.  These include programs such as RSpan, NetFlow, and a variety of security ACLs.

A managed programs approach that includes installation and maintenance of XenServer 6 will allow business enterprises to scale out to the cloud.  One strong feature of scaling out in this way is that users can continue to maintain close integration with existing Citrix products such as NetScaler, which helps optimize the use of wide area networks or WANs.  Another added feature will allow XenServer host computers as well as virtualized machines to be remotely managed by the Microsoft System Center mentioned earlier.  This provides users with an alternative to VMware's competing vSphere product.  The XenServer 6 system, when used with the System Center, will allow users to create and utilize private clouds.

Managed Programs Preferable to "Free" Software Solutions

Managed Programs

In many businesses and particularly in small to medium-sized enterprises, IT budgets can be very tight, with departments and on-staff support personnel eager to save money in any way they can.  The temptation, therefore, to choose a free data storage solution can be quite strong.  Companies now exist that offer free storage server software, but there are several compelling reasons why enterprises are actually better off opting for a managed programs approach to server functions.

Using Thin Clients in a Managed Programs Environment


Two basic kinds of computers used in business today go by the terms "thin client" and "fat client." A fat client is a typical computer. Though it may be attached to a network either wirelessly or with infrastructure such as Ethernet cables, a fat client can also function as a standalone workstation because it possesses all the resources it needs to do its tasks. These resources include hard drives, memory chips, and computer power in the form of microprocessors.

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