There’s been a lot of noise recently about the complexities of patch management in a virtualized world -- a lot of jockeying for last place, as it were, in the “Whose Patch Tuesday is Biggest” contest.

XenServer has had a relatively small number of patches, and in the case of security advisories, we’ve been consistently able to announce the fix for an issue very quickly, or in one case, even before the vulnerability was publicized.

But it’s true that virtual platforms can add complexity to patch management.  While other Citrix technologies -- Provisioning Server, for instance -- can reduce the impact of patching significantly, the maintenance of the virtualization server platform itself is an major concern.

We don’t talk about future features very often, but here’s one area of the next release of Citrix XenServer -- which is in closed beta with Citrix employees and partners now -- that is worth crowing about.

Pool-wide patch management has been integrated into the product, and, in conjunction with a wizard in XenCenter, will allow you to:

  • Check the Citrix XenServer website for updates
  • Download any pending updates to your XenCenter system
  • Choose which servers in your managed pools you wish to apply the patches to
  • Put each server in maintenance mode (with their VMs kept online on another server via XenMotion)
  • Apply the patches
  • Bring the server back online and move VMs back to it automatically

…All in a single guided process.

 Just another step to help you feel more secure about security (and stability and performance and manageability).

Watch the web for public beta availability and more info.