XenServer and modern virtualization
September 28, 2017

XenServer and modern virtualization

Kristopher Leslie | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with XenServer

Our organization utilized XenServer to replace VMware ESXi. We have consolidated all physical servers to just 3 hypervisors and manage the environment with XoA. We currently have 30 VMs running in our infrastructure. We utilize Windows 2016 and 2012 R2 along with a few instances of Linux. Each department uses an individual server which has improved the speed and delivery of IT services to our staff.
  • Resource Monitoring is a good and I am able to monitor my entire infrastructure whether I'm using my iPhone remotely or while on any company-issued laptop to ensure our services run at peak efficiency.
  • CLI - the command line is not hard to use. It can take a little time to get used to the commands but once you have them down managing the environment from the GUI or CLI is pretty easy.
  • Backups are very easy to start and manage with XenCenter or XoA. Keeping business DR scenarios achievable.
  • Better support for USB devices (which is a weak point of most Hypervisors)
  • More native iPhone/Android apps to monitor the environment
  • Better reports for an insight of how healthy the environment is
  • The best positive impact XenServer had on our business was the fact we didn't have to purchase a room full of physical servers to handle our workloads. This alone saved us thousands of dollars on hardware and software purchases, the cooling cost went down, power cost went down and management for the environment was centralized and easier to maintain.
Feature for feature they are neck and neck. I have used Hyper-V 2012 and 2016, VMware ESXi and XenServer evenly. XenServer is a fast install, good documentation, with enterprise features out the box that compare or exceed what VMWare offered with a higher cost of entry.
XenServer is well suited for all scenarios for deployment for a modern infrastructure. The weak link it has is of course for classic physical hardware that has key fobs or other telephony cards which aren't properly supported in a virtualized environment. Even if you have one physical server, virtualizing is the best practice to do.

Citrix Hypervisor Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
9
Management console
9
Live virtual machine backup
9
Live virtual machine migration
10
Hypervisor-level security
9

Using XenServer

100 - All normal functions
2 - Basic usage of CLI, RDP, and how to manage storage, ISO's for operating systems.
  • Virtual Machine DR/BR
  • Consolidation
  • Reduction in repair times for most issues due to only having to manage fewer servers.
  • We were able to utlize RDP to let slower, older donated laptops remote in and breathe life into aging hardware.
  • The speed in which we can reboot servers was reduced from minutes to seconds
  • Being able to take my virtual machine and go to another different site and transfer it with little effort.
Because it is a market leader for enterprise-grade features for low to no cost.

Evaluating XenServer and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
Price, the most common factor most SMB's run into when attempting a virtualization project. While VMWare has a feature-rich set, it comes at a cost that can prohibit most non-profits from getting started with a hypervisor.
Stick with XenServer and invest more time in learning how to make pools and vswitches work for smaller environments.