Xen Server 6.0 beta released!
The newly released beta of Citrix XenServer 6.0 features cross-platform management tools compatible with VMware vSphere and Microsoft System Center, as well as the integration of the Open vSwitch, first introduced with XenServer 5.6, as the default network stack for the product.
Based on the Xen 4.1 hypervisor, XenServer 6.0 includes a new Self Service Manager virtual appliance which can be used to create virtual machine (VM) service catalogs based on both XenServer and vSphere. XenCenter 6.0 allows for the creation of multi-VM virtual appliances, or vApps, which can be imported/exported using the Open Virtualization Format standard. VMware Virtual Machine Disk Format and Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk virtual disks can also be imported. Starting with this release, users can use Microsoft’s forthcoming System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012 to manage and monitor XenServer hosts and VMs.
Open vSwitch is now the basis for distributed virtual networking within XenServer, as well as network interface card-bonding support and jumbo frames support. XenServer 6.0 also now brings previously separate StorageLink and Site Recovery features into the fold. With the integration of StorageLink, some array support is retired, according to a post on the Citrix website: “Focus for StorageLink support is being placed on arrays with standards-based SMI-S interfaces (e.g. EMC Clariion) and those which are widely used with XenServer (NetApp and Dell EqualLogic).”
Citrix also recently retired its Essentials line — which included StorageLink — for Hyper-V, citing overlap with SCVMM 2012.