Release Notes for Citrix XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 BETA (Codename Cowley)
This document provides important information about the Citrix XenServer
5.6 Feature Pack 1 Beta Release.
Documentation may be updated or changed after the initial release: Citrix suggests regularly visiting the XenServer
5.6 Feature Pack 1 Beta page on My Citrix to learn about updates. Customers will require a MyCitrix account to access this page. If you do not have an account, you can register on the My Citrix home page.
Release notes for Windows and Linux VMs are available in the "Installing
Windows VMs" and "Installing Linux VMs" chapters of the XenServer
5.6 FP1 Beta Virtual Machine Installation Guide.
Known Issues and Errata
Documentation and Support
Important: Advanced editions and higher of Citrix XenServer require a Citrix License Server (11.6 or higher)
to run. To license these editions, you must configure Citrix Licensing and the
licensing settings inside each XenServer host.
- An overview of licensing XenServer, including required settings, is in the Citrix XenServer 5.6 FP1 Beta Installation Guide.
- For information about obtaining license files and installing a license server, go to the Licensing Your Product
section on Citrix eDocs.
- XenServer 5.6 FP1 Beta uses Early Release evaluation licenses instead of standard XenServer licenses. A suitable license can be downloaded from My Citrix.
XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 Beta includes a number of new features and ongoing improvements, including:
- Distributed Virtual Switching. Provides distributed, fine-grained networking configuration and control policies, which increase visibility into XenServer virtual networks. Support for the vSwitch has been added as a post-install option on XenServer hosts, as well as a Controller for administration of multiple vSwitches and cross-server internal networks.
- Jumbo Frames are now supported for storage networks.
- VM Protection and Recovery. Configure scheduled snapshots and (optional) archive of virtual machines.
- Web Self-Service. Provides browser-based access to selected virtual machines by delegated administrators.
- Boot from SAN with multipathing support. Boot XenServer hosts with HBAs from a SAN, with multipathing support.
- HA Restart Priority. Configure HA policies to restart specific VMs first, such as StorageLink Gateway VMs or the vSwitch Controller VM.
- Improved XenDesktop VDI scalability. Increased host VM density and resource pool scalability, via a multi-vCPU control domain (Dom0) and other enhancements.
- Enhanced XenCenter. Including StorageLink configuration entirely within XenCenter, workload reporting for VM utilization and chargeback.
- Improved MPP RDAC multipathing including path health reporting and alerting in XenCenter.
- Snapshot improvements. Improved reclamation of space after VM snapshots are deleted even with a running VM.
- Enhanced guest OS support for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, RHEL 6.0 (RTM), and SLES 11 SP1.
- Generic RHEL 5.x support. RHEL / CentOS / Oracle Enterprise Linux versions 5.0 to 5.5 support with a generic “RHEL 5” template.
- Brocade HBA drivers and command-line tools are included and shipped with XenServer.
- Provisioning Services improvements to Windows volume license (MAK and KMS) support.
- XenDesktop platform enhancements. Provides local host caching of VM images to reduce storage TCO for XenDesktop VDI deployments. (Note: these platform enhancements will be enabled by a future version of XenDesktop).
Known Issues and Errata
This section details known issues with this release and any workarounds that can be applied.
Upgrading and Installation
- Customers who use HP's Virtual Connect may find that after upgrading from
XenServer 5.5, the host's network interfaces display as disconnected. A workaround
is to use the CLI to xe pif-forget each disconnected interface, then
xe pif-scan to re-add the interfaces correctly. Note that the management
interface will then need to be attached to one of these new interfaces; consequently,
the upgrade needs to occur at the physical or serial console of the machine
or through an interface such as HP iLO. [CA-38021]
- Upgrade from OEM editions of XenServer 5.5 directly to 5.6 FP1 Beta is not supported. To upgrade such editions, first upgrade to 5.6 (see CTX125196) reboot, and then upgrade to 5.6 FP1 Beta. [CA-45951]
- Due to an invalid HTTP response, customers attempting to download the XenCenter installer using the product's built-in webserver, may experience problems with some browsers, in particular Microsoft Internet Explorer. Additionally, third party products which use a number of the HTTP interfaces, such as the 'vncsnapshot' interface, may experience issues. [CA-46283]
- The username, password, or share path for CIFS storage repositories must not contain extended characters, such as characters with accents. Otherwise you will be unable to attach ISO SRs for that target. [CA-29017]
- If your resource pool has an existing connection to a CIFS ISO share, subsequent attempts to create a new ISO SR on that same share may fail. [CA-37251]
- Writing to CIFS ISO SRs is not supported and can result in disk corruption.
- When DHCP is configured, XenServer may fail to initialize a NIC before it attempts to connect to storage on host startup. If this occurs, select Repair Storage in XenCenter. [CA-39321]
- VMs archived by the Archive Now option in XenCenter get stored in the root of the Archive Target directory, rather than the directory corresponding to the VM name. [CA-45904]
- When using the VM Protection and Recovery feature, do not create a VM with a name that ends in a period (for example "win7_32."). If the last character of the name is set to ".", the VM will not archive to the archive directory prefixed by the VM name, but rather to one prefixed by "-" followed by a unique identifier. [CA-46111]
- VM protection alerts in system alerts in XenCenter show an incomplete message when there is an error. [CA-46108]
- The Intel ixgbe driver (126.96.36.199) has an issue where no link is seen after the reboot of an initial install of XenServer, and the ixgbe crashes. This may impact the use of 10Gb/s ethernet NICs. Citrix will issue a driver disk shortly to resolve this issue. [CA-46186]
- Rarely, when using NetApp storage repositories, an error may appear stating
"Snapshot/Clone failed." Citrix recommends retrying the operation if this occurs. [CA-37711]
- If a link failure occurs when using bonded NICs (with or without a vSwitch enabled), then upon link restoration you may experience periods of loss of connectivity (packet loss) to anything using the bond (i.e. virtual machines and/or the XenServer host itself). [CA-41645]
- When specifying StorageLink configurations for a XenServer host or pool,
supply either the default StorageLink credentials of username: admin
and password: storagelink, or any custom credentials specified during
installation of the StorageLink Gateway service. Unlike StorageLink Manager,
XenCenter does not supply the default credentials automatically. [CA-38343]
Guest OS Support
- Customers who wish to try the RHEL 6.0 beta should be aware that RHEL's 64-bit kernel used in their beta does not have appropriately built-in Xen support, and as such it is unsupported in this XenServer beta. For the 32-bit version, Citrix advises customers to use the RHEL beta refresh (released July 21, 2010) due to an issue in the first beta with the 32-bit kernel.
- XenServer 5.6 FP1 Beta uses an updated version of the domain 0 kernel to XenServer 5.6 and therefore driver disks built for XenServer 5.6 will not work with XenServer 5.6 FP1 Beta. Please consult your Support representative before upgrading if you are using driver disks on your installations.
Documentation and Support
For the most up-to-date product documentation for every Citrix product, go to the Citrix Product Documentation links page or, for many products, Citrix eDocs.
For licensing documentation, go to the Licensing Your Product
section on Citrix eDocs.
Citrix provides technical support primarily through Citrix Solutions Advisors.
Contact your supplier for first-line support, or use Citrix Online Technical
Support to find the nearest Citrix Solutions Advisor.
Citrix offers online technical support services on the Citrix
Support Web Site. This site includes links to downloads, the Citrix Knowledge
Center, Citrix Consulting Services, and other useful resources.
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