Citrix CloudPlatform 3.0.4 – What’s New
Citrix CloudPlatform is powered by Apache CloudStack, but it seems that companies who have opted to use the Citrix licensed, and therefore supported version, are getting far more bang for their buck.
Citrix released v3.0.3 of CloudPlatform back at the beginning of June, and have now issued yet another update, v3.0.4, released on the 18th July.
Meanwhile the Apache CloudStack version available to the OpenSource community is still at v3.0.2 The major limitation with 3.0.2 is the inability to upgrade from 2.2.x so not only are the OpenSource users not getting the new features released in 3.0.3, the majority will be stuck on 2.2.x
3.0.4 is mainly a maintenance patch release, but it does enable you to utilise some of the recent and important patches for XenServer 6.0.2, namely XS602E003, XS602E004 & XS602E005
So let’s take a look at some of the new features 3.0.3 brought to the party.
CloudPlatform 3.0.3 New Features
Secure Console Access on XenServer
With the addition of Secure Console feature, users can now securely access the VM consoles on the XenServer hypervisor. You can either SSH or use the View Console option in the Management Server to securely connect to the VMs on the XenServer host. The Management Server uses the xapi API to stream the VM consoles. However, there is no change in the way you can access the console of a VM.
This feature is supported on XenServer 5.6 and 6.0 versions.
Supports creating VMs without starting them on the backend. You can determine whether the VM needs to be started as part of the VM deployment. A VM can be deployed in two ways: create and start a VM (the default method); create a VM and leave it in the stopped state.
A new request parameter, startVM, is introduced in the deployVm API to support the stopped VM feature.
Uploading an Existing Volume to a Virtual Machine
Existing data can now be made accessible to a virtual machine. This is called uploading a volume to the VM. For example, this is useful to upload data from a local file system and attach it to a VM. Root administrators, domain administrators, and end users can all upload existing volumes to VMs. The upload is performed by using HTTP. The uploaded volume is placed in the zone’s secondary storage.
Dedicated High-Availability Hosts
One or more hosts can now be designated for use only by high-availability (HA) enabled VMs that are restarted due to a host failure. Setting up a pool of such dedicated HA hosts as the recovery destination for all HA-enabled VMs make it easier to determine which VMs are restarted as part of the high-availability function.
Support for Amazon Web Services API
This release supports Amazon Web Services APIs, including Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) API. Fidelity with the EC2 API and the installation experience for this functionality are both enhanced. In prior releases, users were required to install a separate component called CloudBridge, in addition to installing the Management Server. For new installations of CloudPlatform 3.0.3, this software is installed automatically along with CloudPlatform and runs in a more closely integrated fashion.
Support for Cisco Nexus 1000v Virtual Switch
In addition to standard vSwitch, Cisco Nexus 1000v is now supported for virtual network configuration in VMware vSphere deployments. With this, guest traffic isolation through VLANs is possible in VMware environment. Using Nexus virtual switch simplifies configuring and monitoring virtual networks that span across a large number of hosts, and facilitates live migration in VMWare-based cloud deployment.
The argument for using Citrix CloudPlatform powered by Apache CloudStack over the OpenSource Apache CloudStack is not just to ensure your business critial IaaS system, has full vendor support, but we are starting to see real delays in the release cycle from Apache.
New features are being added by Citrix and these could add true value to your IaaS offering, but unless you are using the licensed version of Citrix CloudPlatform, you may have to wait until long after your competitors have brought them to the market, and lose potential customers in the process.
About the Author
Geoff Higginbottom is CTO of ShapeBlue, the strategic cloud consultancy. Geoff spends most of his time designing private & public cloud infrastructures for telco’s, ISP’s and enterprises based on CloudStack.