Citrix XenServer 5.6 FP1 Released

  • Web Self-Service Portal – XenServer administrators can delegate rights to select individuals, allowing them to request and access virtual machines via the browser. This technology could be based on the recent VMLogix acquisition.
  • VM Protection and Recovery – This could be the Citrix response to VMware’s Data Recovery. This new feature offers policy-based snapshotting and archiving of selected virtual machines across a XenServer resource pool. Administrators can perform scheduling and recovery through the XenCenter management console.
  • HA Restart Priority – Administrators can instruct the system as to which virtual machines in the environment should be restarted first, and in what order they should be brough back online should there be a failure requiring reboot. As an example, a policy can be put into effect to start the StorageLink Gateway VMs or the Distributed vSwitch Controller VM before anything else is brought back online.
  • Boot from SAN with Multi-Pathing Support – Boot XenServer hosts with Fibre Channel and iSCSI HBAs from a SAN, with multipathing support.
  • Improved XenDesktop VDI Scalability – Increased host virtual machine density and resource pool scalability via multi-vCPU control domain (Dom0) and other enhancements.
  • Enhanced Guest OS Support – Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, RHEL 6.0 (RTM), CentOS 6.0 (RTM), Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.0 (RTM), Debian Squeeze (32 and 64-bit), and SLES 11 SP1.
  • Some great improvements especially distributed virtual switching.

    10 thoughts on “Citrix XenServer 5.6 FP1 Released

    1. Regarding 5.6 FP1 release – I spent almost 2 days trying to get DRBD working with it.Compiled DRBD 8.3.81 and 8.3.9 on new XS DDK VM (kernel and at first thought everything was good..But after setting up 2 nodes, syncing both and getting ready to call it a day decided to check the speed. dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/drbd1 bs=256M count=1 oflags=direct and… immediately got the "sunshine" screen (the one we see when XS boots up). Complete lockup. No network, no kb or mouse.. Hard reset.. After that no signs of any troubles. Server boots up just fine. logs don’t have anything special. Later found out it’s not just "dd" that brings up the sunshine, fdisk -l /dev/drbd1 and pvs also cause the same sudden freeze. Tried giving DRBD whole disk (/dev/sdb) or partition (/dev/sdb1) – no dif. if I do "service stop drbd" – all is good. I can fdisk or dd backing device – no problem. These servers were working fine with XS 5.5, 5.6 and DRBD 8.3.81, I ran multiple throughput/latency tests before (against /dev/drbd1) on both and all was good..

    2. Hi Joe, would be interesting to see how your setup reacts to FP1.Few other people confirmed having similar issues with FP1. I was able to capture crash logs and info, which I forwarded to DRBD guys and will file bug report with Citrix. As it appears to be new kernel issue: <1>BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at 00000004 <1>IP: [<c01b9abc>] bio_free+0x2c/0x50 <4>*pdpt = 00000004fe3ed027 *pde = 0000000000000000 <0>Oops: 0000 [#1] SMP <0>last sysfs file: /sys/class/net/lo/carrier

    3. Hi romuluz, Testing this now and getting the same result – sync went perfect – when I try to create a shared SR is crashesI’ll dig around for a fix

    4. Joe, thanks for trying this out and confirming the trouble. Hope you’ll be able to dig something up. I kept trying to isolate storage controller and other things. So installed plain HDD and put FP1 on sda1 and gave sda3 to DRBD – same thing. None of the bios changes helped either. (VT-d, C-states, etc.). I haven’t heard back from DRBD guys yet (sent them crash dump files). One good thing I noticed with new kernel in FP1 is disk performance. With 5.6 I was getting around 360-370 mb/s on bs=64K through bs=512M. With FP1 I have 460-470 mb/s (and that’s on multiple servers)

    5. No problem, I love issues like this :-)I suspect its to do with the DRBD module based on <1>BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at 00000004- I’ll dig around the source – see can I make sence of it.

    6. indeed, seems like our case, and it also seems that the problem was acknowledged few days prior to official rollout of FP1. With kernel issues don’t they have to pull-back/delay the RTM release? 🙂 Definitely "Christmas rush" :))according to Daniel on 12/15/10: "Ok, big sorry. The issue is indeed due to said blktapisms in the present2.6.32 kernel — but as Jon Ludlam pointed out, it’s not really just dueto repo drift seen. Different issue, so those updates I sent to Tomoewon’t help much.There’s a fix internally available now, so next update should reallyresolve this."Can we do anything ourselves? Do we just wait?Thanks Joe, you rock!!

    7. Looks like we have to wait unless there is a way of apply that internal patch. Im sure its possible I’ll hit up the Citrix Forums – might get a response.

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