In the midst of VMware's announcement of vSphere 5 and the hailstorm of concern over licensing changes, it's easy to overlook competitors including Citrix. The latest version of Citrix XenServer 6 beta 2--known as Project Boston--adds a new Self-Service Manager and other improvements that streamline product operations.
I'm working on a review of the beta now. Obviously, it's too soon to say what Citrix stewardship of the Xen product family looks like now that longtime champion Simon Crosby has left the company but I am curious about the current state of the beta. I'll be providing a 'first look' review that focuses on the Self-Service Manager next week.
Basically, the Self-Service Manager, which supports both XenServer and VMware vSphere (I'll be checking on whether that's 4.1 and 5 in the next few days), provides a multi-tenant, service catalog that delegated administrators can use to deploy and manage VMs, applications and other virtual resources.
Along with the service catalog Citrix is improving virtual appliance support. Project Boston has added the ability to create multiple VM appliances such that HA (High Availability) and site recovery tools can move and boot these virtual appliances.
I'll also be looking at XenDesktop support. Project Boston will be the first XenServer version to include HDX display and performance enhancements.
Now it's back to the lab to see how my latest XenServer 6 beta 2 configuration is holding up.