Get your test machines ready! We’re pleased to announce the beta release of the next version of XenServer, code-named “Project George”, is expected to be available at the end of April (the standard disclaimer applies: actual release will be determined by test results). Watch this space or subscribe to this RSS feed for an announcement that the beta is available.

We’re doing this pre-announcement because the George beta will only last a few weeks and therefore it’s critical we get your feedback as early as possible once the beta hits your hands. The only requirement for accessing the beta will be a MyCitrix account.

Project George contains several highly-requested new features:

  • Active Directory integration. Specify the AD domain to use for authentication by the pool and use your AD credentials to connect to the pool via XenCenter and ssh. You control which AD users/groups are allowed access.
  • Workload balancing. Guest and host performance metrics are used to create star ratings for individual VM placement and balancing recommendations for resource pools to achieve optimal performance.
  • LVHD. Fast cloning and snapshots are now supported on all SR types through integration of our software VHD stack and LVM-based Storage Repositories (SRs).
  • StorageLink integration. CLI-only support for a new StorageLink Gateway SR that adds native standards-based support for HP MSA, HP EVA, EMC Clariion, and NetApp storage arrays over iSCSI and Fibre Channel with automated initiator/fabric/array management.
  • Expanded guest OS support. RHEL 5.3, Debian Lenny, and SLES 11 Linux guests.
  • Enhanced beta problem reporting system. We’ve deployed an enhanced problem reporting system for use with the George beta. The forums will still be used for discussion but issues with the product can now be reported via a Jira-based ticketing system that supports designating issues as public or private. No more having to FTP your Server Status Reports (aka bug-tools)!

Carl, on behalf of the XenServer engineering team