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Why the Citrix/XenSource union is good for storage

Why the Citrix/XenSource union is good for storage

How XenEnterprise handles storage

Today, we're continuing our look at why the recently announced union of Citrix and XenSource is good from a storage point of view. XenSource's XenEnterprise handles storage virtualization differently than VMware's Virtual Infrastructure 3, XenSource claims.

While, VMware relies on its VirtualCenter management interface to provide pooling capabilities, in XenEnterprise, one host in the resource pool is nominated the pool leader and it faces the management console and collects statistics and reports them to the XenCenter management interface. The pool leader replicates its state across all other hosts in the pool so that if the pool leader fails, any other host in the pool can take over as pool leader, making the system resilient against failure.

Each resource pool can support up to 16 hosts. The support is limited to XenSource's ability to test larger configurations.

XenSource will work with partners such as Platform Computing and Symantec through its API to develop storage applications such as disaster recovery, virtual disk interfaces and snapshotting rather than developing those applications themselves.

For instance, XenSource's has agreed to incorporate Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation. XenSource is also working with Symantec on high-availability and disaster recovery applications. The company announced deals with Marathon Technologies and Stratus to incorporate its high-availability capabilities.

XenEnterprise v4 enables live migration of virtual machines. Once a resource pool based on shared storage is enabled, the company's XenMotion technology can take images of virtual machines and move them from one physical host to another to other virtual machines.

Further, XenEnterprise v4 also works with iSCSI and enables boot from SAN or network capability. At the time, XenSource requires local storage for host computer remote boot, but PXE (Pre-boot Execution Environment) boot for guest operating systems. They will enable host remote boot soon.

A XenEnterprise v4 license lists for US$2,500 (AU$3,034), plus US$500 per year for technical support.


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