Xenserver 7.1 a good contender to replace esxi

I have been a big fan and user of vmware ESXi for years, I started playing with it since circa 2008. The bare metal hypervisor and its easy to use GUI on Windows makes virtualization management extremely easy.

However in the past couple of years the free version of esxi has moved to HTML5 web management, and in the latest ESXi version the Windows client (vSphere client) requires you to pay for a license a run a central vcenter server/vm in order to manage via GUI (non-web).

There are a few articles posted on how limited the web UI may be in contrast to all the features of the original windows GUI so I started pondering other products that may replace ESXi on my homelab (been an ESXi user since 3.x) but it looks like Xenserver 7.1 was just released and Citrix has been including a lot of Enterprise features on their free Xenserver product and offer a very comparable GUI on Windows as well.

A few days ago (February 23) Citrix just released the latest Xenserver 7.1 version (release link/downloads/changelog). The feature I am most excited about? Docker integration via installing “container management supplemental pack”

Xenserver 7.1 seems to be based on Linux CentOS so installing packages (via rpm) should be pretty easy. I’ll post more information when I get more time to dig into it deeper as I am just installing it on my homelab for testing.

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