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Open source fork of Xenserver

Started by Kirin van der Veer , 12 October 2017 - 04:54 AM
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Kirin van der Veer Members

Kirin van der Veer
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:54 AM

Hi Everyone,

With the recent change in update policy my workplace will need to migrate off Xenserver to another solution. (following the CR release schedule would be too taxing for the number of staff in IT).

Since the source code is available, I was wondering if there are any projects out there that have produced a "whitelabel" version of Xenserver - similar to how CentOS is just RedHat under the hood.

Appreciate any pointers.



Tobias Kreidl CTP Member

Tobias Kreidl
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:31 PM

There is of course the Xen Project itself, but also Proxmox, ovirt, OpenNode, etc.  Some of XenServer code (a small piece) is proprietary, so the best you can expect is a close approximation.

 

Personally, I don't see the requirement to update quarterly to be a show-stopper, but can appreciate your stance on this.

 

-=Tobias



Alan Lantz Members

Alan Lantz
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 05:05 PM

I'm surprised at the CR release being an issue as well. I'm curious how many other customers will follow suite? I would think the cost of migrating to another platform would cost more than many years of just purchasing licensing. 

 

--Alan--



Tobias Kreidl CTP Member

Tobias Kreidl
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:03 PM

... or upgrading every 3 months or so, which isn't that big of a deal IMO.



Jonathan Wright Members

Jonathan Wright
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:33 PM

If you're happy with CentOS then switching to KVM is a total win-win in pretty much every conceivable way. 



Kirin van der Veer Members

Kirin van der Veer
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:36 PM

I suspect that I'm a special case.

We created our cluster to be very "wide" but not "deep".

There are 19 hosts that all have overclocked CPUs 16GB ram and 1tb SSD's - no shared storage and a single pool master.

It's just consumer grade equipment in no-name rackmount cases (no ECC!)

The use case is a single VM per host as high performance build slaves for our software developers.

I'm the only Linux savvy support person and the minor hassles that I have encountered during upgrades mean that we could afford the time to do upgrades roughly yearly. (this is probably exacerbated by the lack of HA and shared storage in our setup).

As far as I could see on the Citrix website it would cost approx AUD$8500 p/year for security patches :(

Proxmox and oVirt are KVM based and as far as I can see the Xen project itself does not have a good gui for users. (I'm more familiar with Xen, but I'd be interested to hear why Jonathan thinks KVM is better).

To be clear, we would be happy paying for patches, but the per CPU licensing results in a non-viable price for what is meant to be a disposable cluster. (we have a VMware cluster with redundant everything for source code repository and other important stuff).



Tobias Kreidl CTP Member

Tobias Kreidl
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:48 PM

For maintaining continuous uptime, you could still potentially have a split pool, storage Xenmotion your VMs to other servers from your first pool and perform your maintenance on the original servers, and then reverse the process. You would still have your VMs running essentially uninterrupted and would not require paid-for licensing.



Kirin van der Veer Members

Kirin van der Veer
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:12 PM

Thanks for the suggestion Tobias, but this still requires intervention on a quaterly basis - which is a bit hard to manage given staffing constraints.

Just in case anyone is reading this who is tossing up weather to give Xen a go I will say that it's provided a great solution for our situation over the last couple of years. It will be a shame when we have to migrate away.



Jonathan Wright Members

Jonathan Wright
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:12 PM

KVM is the native Linux solution, so all the tools and command-lines are just standard Linux infrastructure.  You can easily hire in Linux expertise when you need it.  XenServer itself is almost as different to Linux as Windows is, so it's a specialized non-transferable skill. 

 

For power users you're probably better off with the Linux command line and hardware support, and for non-power users there are plenty of GUIs options. 

 

Vanilla Xen is much closer to KVM in terms of configuration complexity - but without XenCenter, the Windows drivers, and xapi you'll be on the Linux command line typing "man xl" a lot.  See: http://xenbits.xen.org/docs/unstable/man/xl.1.html