How Complete is XenServer Really



  • Not trying to derail the thread, but, why does everyone claim XS is so easy, even a caveman could use it? 🤷

    If this isn't the most incomplete major piece of software I know of.....



  • @FATeknollogee said in Xen Orchestra and Continuous Replication:

    Not trying to derail the thread, but, why does everyone claim XS is so easy, even a caveman could use it? 🤷

    If this isn't the most incomplete major piece of software I know of.....

    In what way? What is XS lacking that its competitors have?

    And to be fair, we normally mean (but don't say) XS + XO as you need an interface, and XO is fully free and if you want, you can bundle them together yourself to make it a single thing because of compatible licensing.



  • If you compare XS to its three competitors, how does it stack up?

    • XS vs. KVM?
    • XS vs. Hyper-V?
    • XS vs. ESXi Free?
    • XS vs. ESXi Essentials?
    • XS vs. ESXi Essentials Plus?

    Those are realistically the competitors to consider. If you go beyond ESXi Essentials Plus licensing, you'd likely go beyond XenServer to pure Xen anyway. Not quite, none of these have perfect one to one comparisons, but it's a starting point for discussion.



  • XenServer is easy, it really is.

    Setting it up, generally doesn't take a lot of effort, and the issues I had yesterday were due to my own misunderstanding of LVM.

    So my question @FATeknollogee is where do you think the difficulty comes in?



  • And the issues with the evening before were because of a spectacular and abnormally odd failure scenario.

    Fortunately I have backups, and am restoring now.



  • Guys, it's all the little detail stuff I'm talking about:
    Everyone says yes boot off USB, yet it takes a massive thread to figure out logging!
    Should things like that this not be baked in from the get go?



  • If you are asking the question in regards to the third party software suppliers that support it, you have a smaller footprint and with good reason.

    Unitrends supports XS, and is coming out with an XS7 version for beta soon if they haven't already.

    @olivier came out with Xen Orchestra as an all-encompassing solution for the platform, and it's so simple to setup currently that all you need is a VM running debian or ubuntu. Run a one line command and you have a working, current solution.



  • @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    Guys, it's all the little detail stuff I'm talking about:
    Everyone says yes boot off USB, yet it takes a massive thread to figure out logging!
    Should things like that this not be baked in from the get go?

    That was a mistake on my part, plain and simple. USB booting is a great thing, but XenServer doesn't intend you to work that way, sadly, so no, it is not baked in. Same with Hyper-V. Both support it, but require you to be an expert and do a lot of work yourself. They both design their system around using spinning disks. So if you are looking for general use, normal user, not a lot of work, you have to do things by convention. Same applies to any system.

    So while "Everyone" said to use USB, that was people getting advice from me, not people following XS stated practices. And on a technical level, it works just fine and the issues we had here were lots of people unfamiliar with Linux, XenServer and logging to know how to do it. For people used to syslog, it's a trivial flip of a switch. But no one working on the issue was familiar with it. So that is misleading in a way, but the underlying issue was me mistakenly pushing an "expert" install mode when I should not have.

    So blame me for that, not XS.



  • @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    Everyone says yes boot off USB, yet it takes a massive thread to figure out logging!
    Should things like that this not be baked in from the get go?

    So of my three competitors let's compare:

    • KVM by Default: No
    • ESXi by Default: Yes
    • Hyper-V by Default: No
    • XenServer by Default: No

    So if the question is "should it", maybe. It's something I would like to see for sure. If the question is "is XS behind its competitors" the answer for that one issue is clearly "no, it is not behind." USB booting with no additional configuration is an ESXi unique feature.



  • @DustinB3403 Don't forget to tell there is a commercial solution for companies wanting to have a turnkey+update+support with it 😉



  • @olivier said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @DustinB3403 Don't forget to tell there is a commercial solution for companies wanting to have a turnkey+update+support with it 😉

    I always do, I don't want you giving up!



  • @scottalanmiller said

    So blame me for that, not XS.

    Oh I blame you, don't worry. 😉



  • @olivier said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @DustinB3403 Don't forget to tell there is a commercial solution for companies wanting to have a turnkey+update+support with it 😉

    Of course!



  • Don't get me wrong, I really like XS...
    As a HyperV guy, if HyperV was setup like XS (instead of needing all the the domain BS just to connect) it would be much more successful, my 2 cents



  • @BRRABill said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @scottalanmiller said

    So blame me for that, not XS.

    Oh I blame you, don't worry. 😉

    That's good.



  • @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    Don't get me wrong, I really like XS...
    As a HyperV guy, if HyperV was setup like XS (instead of needing all the the domain BS just to connect) it would be much more successful, my 2 cents

    Wait... what? You don't need to be connected to a domain to use Hyper-V? Where did you get that idea from?



  • @scottalanmiller said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @BRRABill said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @scottalanmiller said

    So blame me for that, not XS.

    Oh I blame you, don't worry. 😉

    That's good.

    LOL.

    All good. It was a learning process.

    I have the ability to learn new stuff where I work.

    I'm still not 100% sure what I would do. Now that it's working, it's fine. Not a blip in sight thus far.



  • @coliver Let me re-phrase that.
    You need a domain to take full advantage of the Hyper-V stack (is that better?)



  • @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @coliver Let me re-phrase that.
    You need a domain to take full advantage of the Hyper-V stack (is that better?)

    What features come from domain connectivity?



  • @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @coliver Let me re-phrase that.
    You need a domain to take full advantage of the Hyper-V stack (is that better?)

    Which features? Everything I'm aware of can be done without a domain.



  • @coliver said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    Don't get me wrong, I really like XS...
    As a HyperV guy, if HyperV was setup like XS (instead of needing all the the domain BS just to connect) it would be much more successful, my 2 cents

    Wait... what? You don't need to be connected to a domain to use Hyper-V? Where did you get that idea from?

    Why can't you just install Hyper-V & connect with a browser like ESXi or XO?



  • @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @coliver said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    Don't get me wrong, I really like XS...
    As a HyperV guy, if HyperV was setup like XS (instead of needing all the the domain BS just to connect) it would be much more successful, my 2 cents

    Wait... what? You don't need to be connected to a domain to use Hyper-V? Where did you get that idea from?

    Why can't you just install Hyper-V & connect with a browser like ESXi or XO?

    What does this have to do with a domain? Even when connected to a domain you'd need Hyper-V Manager to do any management. This was a design decision, that was the wrong choice in my opinion, but has really nothing to do with functionality.



  • @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @coliver said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    Don't get me wrong, I really like XS...
    As a HyperV guy, if HyperV was setup like XS (instead of needing all the the domain BS just to connect) it would be much more successful, my 2 cents

    Wait... what? You don't need to be connected to a domain to use Hyper-V? Where did you get that idea from?

    Why can't you just install Hyper-V & connect with a browser like ESXi or XO?

    Because Hyper-V is lacking and needs commercial third party tools to get to that point. That's a big deficiency in the system.

    XS has that too, but XO provides it and for free. So that's why XS+XO as a bundle is what we often refer to.



  • XS may not be complete, but isn't it the "most complete" of all options available?



  • @Reid-Cooper said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    XS may not be complete, but isn't it the "most complete" of all options available?

    With XO it certainly is a very complete solution.

    Without XO, we would be using unitrends (or hyper-v and some backup appliance)



  • @coliver said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @FATeknollogee said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    @coliver Let me re-phrase that.
    You need a domain to take full advantage of the Hyper-V stack (is that better?)

    Which features? Everything I'm aware of can be done without a domain.

    Nothing, but I assume he means without a domain setup, remote connectivity is a pain in the ass to set up.



  • @Reid-Cooper said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    XS may not be complete, but isn't it the "most complete" of all options available?

    what does that mean? most complete?



  • I agree with the OP - Dustin's SR problem wasn't solved by going to a USB stick based install. Did it ultimately make it easier, perhaps a little, but the install was still not easy.

    But, at the same time I don't know that ESXi or Hyper-V would be any easier.
    Can anyone speak to installing ESXi or Hyper-V to local OBR-10 5 TB or larger and having access to the remaining storage for VMs upon completion of installation?
    With any luck, XS v7 has fixed this.

    But back to the OP's point. XS does seem to expect one to know a lot of linux based commands and lookup many xe commands to do things that are completely possible to be done within the GUI in ESXi and Hyper-V.
    For example, importing a SR(datastore). In XS you must use the command line for this. In ESXi, this can be accomplished completely in the vSphere GUI.
    And speaking about importing a SR - ESXi will see and import the VMs from the SR automatically, recreating all of the VMs on that SR (it does ask first though). in XS you have to have previously backed up the metadata, then restore it. The restore might be along the same lines ESXi, but the backup process? That doesn't exist in ESXi.



  • I can say this, coming from ESXi to XenServer was almost painless, it saved my arse. But please oh please learn about XO because I had to get help from the community because I had a poorly thought up backup plan (aka didn't make it that far) and it came back to bite me in the arse.

    I think install XenServer compared to ESXi is about equal except for I can install to ESXi to a USB like it requires nothing 🙂 That had to be my biggest draw to ESXi. Outside of that, I mean managing XS is actually kinda straight forward but I think the way the gui works its better than ESX it just takes getting used to.

    Adding hard drives is my current dilemma 🙂 thats where in my test environment I'm getting painnnnnnnnnnnn. But once you put it on a proper raid / server you should be fine.



  • Hope you don't mind some questions.

    @krisleslie said in How Complete is XenServer Really:

    I can say this, coming from ESXi to XenServer was almost painless, it saved my arse. But please oh please learn about XO because I had to get help from the community because I had a poorly thought up backup plan (aka didn't make it that far) and it came back to bite me in the arse.

    Did you use XO at all before you realized your backups weren't there?

    I think install XenServer compared to ESXi is about equal

    Did you use local storage? If so, how large is/was your SR?

    except for I can install to ESXi to a USB like it requires nothing 🙂 That had to be my biggest draw to ESXi.

    Actually, install XS to USB is as easy or easier than installing ESXi to USB.

    Outside of that, I mean managing XS is actually kinda straight forward but I think the way the gui works its better than ESX it just takes getting used to.

    When you say it's easier in XS, is that in XC or XO or both? What makes it easier/better? Did you ever have to remount a datastore in ESXi compared to doing so in XS?

    Adding hard drives is my current dilemma 🙂 thats where in my test environment I'm getting painnnnnnnnnnnn. But once you put it on a proper raid / server you should be fine.

    Did you ever add additional storage in your ESXi - if yes, was it easier/harder? What about doing this in XS is hard/painful?


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