Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Does anyone know the difference between version of xen produced by xen.org and Citrix XenServer?

I can't seem to find any mention of the differences between the two?

Thanks

share|improve this question

6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

As far as I can tell, Citrix XenServer offers the following on top of Xen.org:

  • Technical support (free and additional paid)
  • XenMotion, for moving active VMs across hosts
  • Windows GUI
  • Windows drivers
  • It'll work with Citrix Essentials for XenServer
share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. Can you see any reasons to go for xen.org rather than Citrix? –  Adam Gibbins May 12 '09 at 22:18
    
Money can be a big, big deal, especially if there's no killer feature in Citrix's paid offering you can't do without. –  ceejayoz May 13 '09 at 15:14
    
XenMotion (or Live Migration) is available with the Xen.org hypervisors. GPL windows drivers are also available for the open source version of Xen. XCP also has a rich feature set relative to XenServer (wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/XCP/XenServer_Feature_Matrix) –  Todd Deshane Sep 20 '11 at 0:58
    
Live migration is mainly a question of the underlying storage. It is possible since XEN 3.x (so it has been available with the open-versions as well). –  Nils Jul 30 '12 at 21:06

XenServer v5.5 is free and works very well IMHO. Just about to cancel our VMware ESX Server subscription...

share|improve this answer

@ceejayoz's answer is correct on the technical points. Note, however, that both xen.org and XenServer are available for free (see http://www.citrix.com/freexenserver). The value-add features Citrix offers may or may not be required in your environment, but I've found from personal experience that the full XenServer works very well for small-scale deployments.

XenServer will support Windows up to and including Windows 2008. Official Windows 7/2008 R2 support should be introduced soon; it does currently work, albeit with a command-line tweak, and it's not officially supported.

share|improve this answer

I should also mention that XenServer includes everything that you need to install on top of bare metal. With Xen.org you need to install it yourself which can be very challenging/fun/interesting (pick whichever one fits the context).

share|improve this answer

This matrix is the best active summary of the differences: http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/XCP/XenServer_Feature_Matrix

See also (a related question): Deploy Xen (In particular, see the part about Project Kronos)

share|improve this answer

There is no difference in terms of Xen. They both provide the same xen hypervisor. It's what you get in addition that is important.

Citrix have taken Xen and are attempting to make it as user friendly as ESX - that means making it straight forward to use by Windows admins without them needing to delve in to linux on dom0 to get everything working. It's the management tools that are key. Have a look at the cli options for 'xm' and Citrix 'xe'. You can do so much more with 'xe'. Also take a look at the XenServer API for management and monitoring

So you have the pretty gui - although this was nothing compared to the VI client last time I checked. More importantly most of the dirty work that you need to do in dom0 for a stock xen install is hidden in Xen Server. Networking is a good example, you can do bridging and vlan trunking by hand in dom0, however XenServer hides this. You also have 'clustering' of xen hosts with XenServer, you'll need to write your own otherwise.

XenServer makse xen an option for companies that aren't stuffed full of techies who are happy to roll their own.

share|improve this answer
    
-1: If you reword the "that means making it straight forward to use by Windows admins" I'll give you a +1. No need for that kind of tar brushing/mentality around here. –  Kev Aug 21 '09 at 13:12
    
The XenCentre client now is as good as, if not easier to use, than VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client. It's easier to say for starters :-) –  Rob Nicholson Aug 21 '09 at 17:28

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.