Well, it’s been quite a week for me. I’m out in the UK writing this blog from some of the nicest countryside you’ll ever see, on Saint George’s day, where spring has sprung delightfully. There is probably no better place on earth to enjoy early summer weather, and the longer evenings. So being ‘stuck’ out here because of ‘Smoking Joe’ the volcano was a good change. Thanks Joe!

Citrix UK: Chalfont.

Alright, there’s still a lot of work to do for Synergy, and that’s really what I’m writing about today. I’ll be facilitating two 3-hour hands-on labs for XenServer and Essentials for Xenserver  (SYN408D and SYN409D). There’s a lot to talk about in the next (Midnight Ride) release, and so I want to use our time together talking and working on labs about the things that interest you the most.

Some of the hands-on labs we thought about are shown below, but if you have any other topics you’d like to discuss, let me know and we’ll try to fit it in.

SYN408D (Wed 2:00PM – 5:00PM):
XS 5.6: Virtualizing workloads efficiently with XenServer:

‘Free’ XenServer is an excellent way to build your own private cloud infrastructure, and you’ll need lots hands-on experience in order to roll out your own networking and storage substrates. In this session we’ll be demystifying some of these surrounding technologies, and how XenServer leverages them.

Lab name Description Duration
Know your workloads How to create an effective plan for virtualizing your existing workloads. 1.0hr
Networking How does XenServer networking work, and what is the impact of dropping a XenServer into your current networking environment? 1.0hr
Storage Without an Enterprise or Platinum license, how do you get the best out of your storage infrastructure? What’s the difference between the different XenServer storage types, and which one is best for your deployment? 1.0hr
CLI and scripting We’ll be demystifying the CLI command ‘xe’, and how you can wrap it in custom scripts to do everything you can do in XenCenter and more. 1.0hr

SYN409D (Thurs 2:00PM – 5:00PM):
Essentials for XS 5.6: Virtualization in your private cloud with Essentials for XenServer:

The soon-to-be released Midnight Ride comes with plenty of Enterprise and Platinum features that are either new or greatly enhances existing ones:

Lab name Description Duration
StorageLink Site Recovery Since StorageLink understands your hypervisor, and your storage, this seems like an obvious feature to have: Being able to replicate your workloads to a DR site, and have them available at the click of a button, in the event of a disaster. 1hr
Role-based Access Control We’ve had AD authentication since the last release, but now it’s taken a step further. 20mins
Live Snapshots We’ve been able to snapshot at the storage level for a while, but now Midnight Ride brings the ability to snapshot running virtual machines. 20mins
Workload Balancing This update brings the ability to schedule for maximum performance or maximum density. It will also bring down, or start up XenServer hosts based on demand. So for example, at 9PM WLB can squeeze all your workloads onto as little severs in the pool as possible, and turn off the XenServer hosts not being used. 1hr
Dynamic Memory Control No this is not memory over-commitment, it’s using existing XenServer host memory more efficiently by only giving memory to workloads when its needed. 30mins