Jul 23, 2013

Citrix Made XenServer Open Source Again. All Enterprise Features Are Now Free!

I use XenServer in my office environment. I switched us over to it shortly after I started at my day job because the free version of XenServer at the time had better features than VMWare's ESXi product. Features like clustering, and XenMotion were appealing to me, and my company couldn't afford the price tag of VMWare Professional or better.

The problem with the free XenServer version we are using is that it doesn't have high availability features or Alerts. I figured it was still fine for regular in-house business apps though, which it has been. It would just be nice to have all features.

Well a friend of mine who runs the infrastructure for TTR Corp in San Diego said that they were moving away from VMWare over to XenServer. When I asked why he said that the new version of XenServer (6.2) now has all enterprise features available for free!

I did some checking and he is right! From their release notes:

XenServer 6.2.0 includes the following new features and ongoing improvements:
Licensing Simplification

As part of our commitment to ease of use, this release sees the introduction of XenServer 6.2.0 which replaces the previous XenServer Free, Advanced, Enterprise, and Platinum editions. Functionality previously available within premium versions of XenServer is now available free of charge. With this simplification we have also introduced per-socket licensing. Licenses no longer enable specific XenServer features, instead they signify that a XenServer is under a valid support contract. XenServer 6.2.0 no longer requires a license server or licence file to enable features, as all features are enabled for free in unlicensed mode. Licenses are only required to receive Citrix Support and to enable the use of XenCenter for the installation of security and feature hotfixes. Hotfixes can continue to be installed on unlicensed hosts using the xe command line interface.
So basically everything is free unless you want support! If you are not using XenServer for your hypervisor needs you should consider taking a closer look at it for cost savings. If you are already using it like me, then you need to look at upgrading soon!

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