Xen Server

Virtual Servers has always been the par when it comes to running multiple servers. A long time ago you would have a single hardware server for a single OS used for a single task. This architecture is so archaic that only the US military still designs their network in this fashion.

I needed to upgrade my Virtual Server (VMware server 2.x) to a Hypervisor. Something that would give me better performance with no cost to existing hardware. The idea was to install VMware ESXi on my server and be done with it. Nope! Not going to happen.

VMware’s ESXi is too good for your hardware, in fact I can bet that ESXi will not run on your most expensive gaming rig in your house. It has a very specific HCL that is limited to server hardware and if your like me, you don’t have blade servers you have MicroATX boards running server 2008.

Citrix Xen server to the rescue. Xen is incredible. Xen is a bare metal hypervisor that brags “near bear metal performance” on its guest OSes. Xen has a LAN MAN like suit call XenCenter that enables you to control all your VM guests remotely with console and everything. Don’t worry about having the latest hardware, Xen supports most.


Xen is free and open source. So why spend a lot of money on several servers when you can run it all under a couple blades. By the way Xen Supports Server 2008 Ent X64.



Another neat part of Xen is remote storage. Store your VM OS on a NAS that is backed up. Run Xen on a separate server. If you loose Xen, you don’t loose your data. Xen also supports migration. If I run two Xen Servers I can migrate one VM from one server to the next. This helps with load balancing and redundancy.