As you may have seen, Citrix just released their latest and greatest Hypervisor (formerly XenServer) version 8.0 to web!! As the version number indicates, this is a MAJOR RELEASE.
While there are a lot of awesome new features in this release, I primarily wanted to write a blog post to highlight the fact that this is the first release of Citrix Hypervisor that officially supports Windows Server 2019! That’s awesome. This has been long awaited by many Citrix Hypervisor (aka XenServer) fans like me, and I am stoked to give it a whirl!
As with previous releases, Citrix Hypervisor still has a free edition, recently renamed to “Express Edition”. Below you will find a list of all the new features in this release. You can find more details, download the latest free (Express) or licensed editions (Standard/Premium) here:
Now for the list of latest features!
About this release
The technology you trust from XenServer, the high-performance hypervisor optimized for virtual app and desktop workloads and based on the Xen Project hypervisor, is now Citrix Hypervisor.
Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 is a Current Release (CR). The Current Release model allows customers to consume new features at the earliest possible juncture. A Current Release contrasts with the Long Term Service Release (XenServer 7.1 LTSR), which guarantees stability in terms of the feature set.
Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 is available in the following editions:
- Premium Edition (previously Enterprise Edition)
- Standard Edition
- Express Edition (previously Free Edition)
Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 introduces enhanced features and functionality for application, desktop, and server virtualization use cases. All Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 features are available to all licensed Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly XenApp and XenDesktop) customers.
The Citrix Hypervisor platform has been updated to use the following software:
- Kernel version: Linux 4.19
- Xen hypervisor version: 4.11
- Control domain operating system version: CentOS 7.5
As part of the update to the kernel version, the amount of memory allocated to the control domain (dom0) has increased. For more information, see Memory usage.
The kernel device drivers have also been updated to newer versions. Some hardware that was supported in previous releases might not work with the newer drivers. Check the Hardware Compatibility List before upgrading to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0.
In addition, the following appliances provided with Citrix Hypervisor have been updated to use CentOS 7.5 as their base operating system:
- Citrix Hypervisor Conversion manager
- Workload Balancing virtual appliance
- Demo Linux virtual appliance
Changes to guest operating system support
The set of guest operating systems that Citrix Hypervisor supports has been updated. For more information, see Guest operating system support
Citrix Hypervisor now supports the following additional guest templates:
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15
- CentOS 7.6
- Oracle Linux 7.6
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6
- Scientific Linux 7.6
- CentOS 6.10
- Oracle Linux 6.10
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10
- Scientific Linux 6.10
- Windows Server 2019
We have removed support for the following guest templates:
- Debian 6 Squeeze
- Ubuntu 12.04
- Asianux Server 4.2, 4.4, and 4.5
- NeoKylin Linux Security OS 5
- Linx Linux 6
- Linx Linux 8
- GreatTurbo Enterprise Server 12
- Yinhe Kylin 4
- Legacy Windows
With the removal of the Legacy Windows template, we are also removing the legacy Windows drivers from the Citrix VM Tools ISO.
You can continue to use existing VMs with these operating systems. However, Citrix no longer supports these VMs.
Changes to processor support
The following processors are now supported in Citrix Hypervisor 8.0:
- Xeon 82xx/62xx/52xx/42xx/32xx CascadeLake-SP
The following legacy processors are no longer supported in Citrix Hypervisor 8.0:
- Opteron 13xx Budapest
- Opteron 23xx/83xx Barcelona
- Opteron 23xx/83xx Shanghai
- Opteron 24xx/84xx Istanbul
- Opteron 41xx Lisbon
- Opteron 61xx Magny Cours
- Xeon 53xx Clovertown
- Xeon 54xx Harpertown
- Xeon 55xx Nehalem
- Xeon 56xx Westmere-EP
- Xeon 65xx/75xx Nehalem-EX
- Xeon 73xx Tigerton
- Xeon 74xx Dunnington
For more information, see the Hardware Compatibility List.
Create VDIs greater than 2 TiB (Premium Edition)
You can now create virtual disk images larger than 2 TiB on GFS2 SRs.
Support for disk and memory snapshots for vGPU-enabled VMs (Premium Edition)
When a disk and memory snapshot of a vGPU-enabled VM is taken the state of the VM includes the vGPU state. This vGPU state is restored when the VM is resumed from the snapshot.
Web-based help for XenCenter and Citrix Hypervisor Conversion Manager
This online documentation replaces the in-product help. Now, when you press F1 in the UI or choose to access contextual help, the relevant article opens in your default browser. These articles are also available as a PDF for offline viewing. Use the View PDF button to download the PDF.
These web-based articles offer you the most accurate and up-to-date content.
Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 includes the following experimental feature:
- Guest UEFI boot
For more information, see Experimental features.
Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 is available to download from the Citrix Hypervisor Product Download page in the following package:
- Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 Base Installation ISO. Use this file to create a fresh installation of Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 or to upgrade from XenServer 7.6, 7.5, 7.1 Cumulative Update 2, or 7.0.
This version of Citrix Hypervisor is not available as an update.
- If you use XenCenter to upgrade your hosts, update your XenCenter installation to the latest version supplied on the Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 download page before beginning.
- Always upgrade the pool master before upgrading any other hosts in a pool.
- Ensure that you update your XenServer 7.1 to Cumulative Update 2 before upgrading to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0.
Changing from the Long Term Service Release to the Current Release
If you’re running a XenServer LTSR, but want to take advantage of new features, you can decide to change to the Citrix Hypervisor CR stream. Using the Citrix Hypervisor versions from the CR stream requires you to adopt new CRs regularly to remain in support.
Move to this Current Release by upgrading from XenServer 7.1 Cumulative Update 2 LTSR.
Changing from the Current Release to the Long Term Service Release
If you’re running a Citrix Hypervisor CR, but instead want to move to a version of Citrix Hypervisor with a guaranteed and stable feature set, you can change to a XenServer LTSR. The latest XenServer LTSR is available to download from the Citrix Hypervisor Product Download page.
Move to the latest LTSR by creating a fresh installation of XenServer 7.1 Cumulative Update 2 LTSR.
For more information about LTSRs and CRs, see Citrix Virtual Apps, Citrix Virtual Desktops, and Citrix Hypervisor Servicing Options.
Customers must upgrade their Citrix License Server to version 11.14 or higher to use all Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 licensed features.
For more information about Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 licensing, see Licensing.
For the most recent additions and advice for all hardware compatibility questions, see the Citrix Hypervisor Hardware Compatibility List.
If you have VMs with attached virtual GPUs, refer to both the Hardware Compatibility List and the GPU vendor documentation to ensure that supported drivers are available before upgrading to the latest release of Citrix Hypervisor.
Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 is interoperable with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 CU3 (LTSR), and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1903.
Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 is interoperable with Citrix Provisioning 7.15 CU3 and 1903.
Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 is interoperable with Citrix Cloud.
Citrix product names are transitioning as we unify our product portfolio. For more information, see https://www.citrix.com/about/citrix-product-guide/.
The localized version of XenCenter (Simplified Chinese and Japanese) is also available in this release.
Documentation can be updated or changed after the initial release. We suggest that you regularly visit the Citrix Product Documentation to learn about updates.
As you can see from the list of features, this is definitely a long awaited MAJOR RELEASE for Citrix Hypervisor (formerly XenServer). As you can see, the XenServer brand has now been removed from the product documentation. Long live the XenServer brand! Follow me on Twitter (@youngtech) or other social media platforms, or check back in for more news and announcements.
Thanks for reading!