Citrix just announced that XenServer 7.6 is now generally available. There are several new features in version 7.6 that are meant to enhance and extend the capabilities of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. But two of the main upgrades include support for thin provisioning and Networking SR-IOV. These features were initially available only as experimental features in the 7.5 CR release. But now Citrix is offering them for a wider implementation in this latest version. This could help users save on storage cost and capacity, utilize PCI devices more effectively, and improve I/O performance. Here are some of the main things to know about these anticipated new features.
Thin provisioning is a feature that lets XenServer dynamically allocate storage resources to better fit with changing capacity demands. It works when the platform is used in tandem with block storage like iSCSI or Fibre Channel. Basically, it gives you a more efficient way to utilize storage and can also decrease storage cost since XenServer won’t have to reserve the entire capacity of a physical disk like LUN for virtual disk storage capacities. Before the update, many users were left with unused disk capacity that they were still paying for, which was a fairly inefficient use of resources.
Networking SR-IOV is an alternative to traditional network visualization methods. It can help to improve system I/O performance by using virtual machines that communicate directly with the network adapter using Direct Memory Access. This enables the sharing of PCIe devices and helps systems to extend device capacity while also improving performance and lowering overall hardware costs.
These two features are just part of the latest update of XenServer. Overall, Citrix says that the update is meant to help IT administrators optimize the user experience and ensure the highest possible productivity levels, while also bringing out the best of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Version 7.6 is available now to all users.
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