Xen Orchestra 5.87

September's release highlights a scrubbed Github repository, a fresh partnership with 2CRSi, enhanced community connectivity, and enriched user experience via multiple feature improvements.

Xen Orchestra 5.87

Welcome aboard to our invigorating September release! We've been industrious across numerous fronts. From project management down to the nuts and bolts of Xen Orchestra, every component including XO Lite has received our careful attention. Dive in and enjoy the array of updates we've crafted for you!

As usual, you can also find this release note in a video format!

And the podcast format:

🧑‍🚀 Project & Community

Under the umbrella of continuous community improvement, we have made several enhancements around the Xen Orchestra Project and our community interactions.

Forum reorganization

Swiftly adapting to the ever-growing needs of our community, we have restructured the forum by creating sub-categories. This simple change allows for a streamlined topic sorting process and provides an effortless way to follow specific discussions:

In an effort to encourage more feedback and interactive discussions, we have dedicated an entire section to the Xen Orchestra REST API. You can view and participate in the conversations here: https://xcp-ng.org/forum/category/18/rest-api

Share Your Setup!

We've launched a new eye-catching section in our forum for sharing your personal setups. Be it a home lab or a production-grade setup, we invite you to share, ideally with pictures, and discuss the choices you've made.

For inspiration, you can view how the backbone of our own production setup, where this engaging community exists: https://xcp-ng.org/forum/topic/7772/xcp-ng-xo-at-vates

And not only this forum, but Vates' entire self-hosted Open Source infrastructure:

Our self-hosting journey with Open Source
Explore Vates’ journey to self-hosted success, championing open-source solutions for unparalleled uptime and total data control. Dive into a blueprint of cost-effective, secure, and autonomous IT infrastructure.

GitHub repository cleanup

In our mission to enhance the Xen Orchestra project, we took major steps to tidy up our Github repository. We resolved a high number of issues that were already taken care of or simply no longer applied.

Today, only 233 issues remain open out of a once colossal total, with the majority related to our up-and-coming V6. This means that now, a mere 7% of all reported issues are still awaiting resolution - demonstrating our team's consistent commitment.

Moreover, we've only got 4 issues not tied to a milestone, reflecting our team's systematic approach towards managing the repository. This organized method of assigning issues to specific milestones supports an environment conducive to productive problem-solving and smooth project progression.

2CRSi partnership

The future of Vates – and Xen Orchestra by extension – is taking a significant leap forward as we embark on a closer cooperation with hardware and server manufacturers, such as 2CRSi. Our goal is to offer a comprehensive commercial proposition that bundles hardware, XCP-ng, and Xen Orchestra together. This "off-the-shelf" solution will enable our customers to access a complete setup all at once, assured with the knowledge that everything is vetted for optimal performance and compatibility. The partnership serves to simplify the user experience, ensuring that every element of the package works flawlessly right out of the box.

You can read more here:

2CRSI and Vates join forces to create a joint offering
We’re proud to share that Vates, our company specialized in open-source virtualization, is partnering with 2CRSi, a pioneer in energy-efficient, high-performance IT servers.

Stay tuned for exciting news on this topic!

🔭 XO Lite

XO Lite continues to receive an array of enhancements.

RPM package

We are excited to share that XO Lite now comes as a standard RPM package within XCP-ng 8.3 (currently in beta version). At some point, we aim to keep pace with updates for those with an internet connection. Yet, even if you're offline, you can still reap the benefits of XO Lite.

Bulk actions: VM migration & snapshot

You can now execute multiple VM migrations at the same time with a new bulk action command. Also, we've introduced the ability to take a VM snapshot on numerous VMs simultaneously.

Pool dashboard patches

Great news on the pool dashboard front! While it took us a tad longer than anticipated, we've added a summary of missing patches for your XCP-ng host directly in the main dashboard. This means you can now keep track of critical updates with ease.

💾 Backup

Over the past month, we've made several bug fixes and improvements to enhance system resilience and add failsafes for specific scenarios.

Block migration during backup

Migrating a VM during backup could lead to unexpected results. Thankfully, this situation is likely rare but, we are aware that some users carry out various actions while a backup is running.

To shield against any unpredictable outcomes, we now secure the VM just before the backup by locking any migration operation. This lock is then removed after completion. If we detect that the VM is already under a migration process, Xen Orchestra will simply skip it, ensuring we uphold system integrity at all times.

🆕 Misc

This release is packed with numerous quality-of-life enhancements and useful features that we believe you will appreciate!

Download all host system logs

With a simple button press, Xen Orchestra will prompt your host to generate a comprehensive tarball with all logs. This is a substantial operation (several hundred MiB), but invaluable for deep investigations.

With a modal warning about the fact it's a pretty beefy operation:

We've also added a REST API endpoint allowing downloads from any terminal:

curl \
  -b authenticationToken=KQxFkTbs \
  'https://xo.company.lan/rest/v0/hosts/<Host UUID>/logs.tar'

Disk health monitoring

Thanks to an external contribution by Cécile, XCP-ng 8.3 will come with a new XAPI plugin that employs smartctl, which means you can now monitor disk status via an API call. Which Xen Orchestra is displaying in the UI now!

Displaying the disk status when all are "PASSED"
When some disks are not healthy

This is just the beginning of hardware monitoring improvements we intend to implement in partnership with our hardware collaborators, aimed at simplifying hardware management tasks, such as health tracking and firmware updates. This grants increased security by flagging outdated firmware and enhances safety by detecting potential issues directly within Xen Orchestra.

Disk details

Restart xo-server

You can now restart the Xen Orchestra server directly from the UI, providing a handy tool to quickly cancel blocked tasks or unlock stuck processes.

Thin-reclaim for block based SRs

If your SAN supports it, Xen Orchestra can instruct your XCP-ng host to send a trim command to perform some cleaning - a useful addition you'll appreciate.

Add failed sign in to the tasks

Our task system now logs failed sign-in attempts, keeping you informed about potential brute-force attempts on your Xen Orchestra account.

Add product brand and version on host/pool

In the Home/Host view, you can expand your host and pools for additional details, such as if you're using XCP-ng or XenServer. Fun fact: less than 2% of our Xen Orchestra users are still on XenServer!

Speaking of which…

New XenServer patches system

As XenServer now functions as a separate business unit within the "Cloud Software Group", updates have fallen behind a paywall.

Understanding this new system took time, but in essence, you now need a token from a Citrix.com website (lol):

Once saved allows Xen Orchestra to fetch and download patches for your XenServer system. You can upload it in XO UI now:

Perhaps it's time to consider a switch to XCP-ng?