I am pleased to announce that XenServer “Project Boston” Beta is now available for download.

The XenServer “Project Boston” Beta is a first look into Citrix’s unrelenting goal of continued simplification and product improvements to “cloud-enable” enterprises and “enterprise-enable” service providers. This release introduces private cloud self-service tools, platform, networking, performance and scalability improvements all designed to create a multi-tenant environment that reduces your infrastructure cost of ownership.

XenServer “Project Boston” Key Features
  • Product Simplification - StorageLink and Site Recovery fully integrated within XenServer and now managed from XenCenter, all virtual appliances now Linux-based, only one Installation ISO as the Linux Supplemental Pack has been removed and Supplemental Pack now available in virtual appliance format.
  • Architectural Changes - The Boston release is based on the Xen 4.1 hypervisor, Open vSwitch is now the default network stack, Hardware (SR-IOV) Support and improved networking performance.
  • Self-Service & Cloud Building Tools - New Self-Service Manager Feature (available approx. 2 weeks after Boston beta release) enables you to build “private cloud” self-service environments, Virtual Appliance support that now allows creation of boot sequenced multi-VM virtual appliances for use with HA and Site Recovery, and VMware VMDK and Microsoft VHD disk images import functionality.
  • Microsoft System Center Integration - Manage XenServer hosts and VMs with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012. For more information refer to the Microsoft System Center 2012 beta page. Monitor XenServer hosts with the System Center Operations Manager 2012 and special Supplemental pack from Citrix targeted for general availability when System Center 2012 ships later this year.
  • XenDesktop Enhancement & Improvements - HDX enhancements for optimized virtual desktop use experience and GPU Pass-Thru that allows a single GPU card or GPU on multi-card GPU card to be assigned to VMs.
  • Guest OS Support Updates - Ubuntu 10.04 support, RHEL 5.6 and SLES 10 SP4 support updates and experimental support for Solaris and Ubuntu 10.10. RHEL 6 and Debian Squeeze Support are now fully supported since XenServer 5.6 Service Pack 2 release.
  • Platform Enhancements & Improvements - “Rolling Pool Upgrade” wizard, NFS support for HA, 1TB host RAM support, increased VM vCPU and vRAM levels, NIC bonding improvements.

Additional resources are available at the Citrix XenServer Beta Central, the XenServer “Project Boston” Beta Forum and the XenServer Project Boston Release Notes.