Apr 18 2024
Data Center

Review: Citrix Hypervisor Consolidates Multiple Virtual Machines on a Physical Server

This virtualization application helps higher ed institutions make the most of their data center infrastructure.

Colleges and universities should harness the full benefits of their data centers to bolster student, faculty and staff services using transformative solutions. For that to happen, CIOs and CTOs must analyze, integrate and optimize their current and planned use of data virtualization solutions.  

By virtualization, I mean solutions that empower IT data centers to run multiple independent computing sessions simultaneously on a single physical computer. By enabling one system to support or host multiple guest virtual machines, institutions are essentially sharing hardware resources. Colleges and universities that virtualize powerful servers can reduce the total cost of ownership for every server they run.

How can higher education institutions go about achieving this ambitious goal?

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The Citrix Hypervisor Features Resource Improvements

Citrix offers the widest variety of graphics processing unit pass-through options as well as virtualized GPU options. These let virtual machines access physical GPUs installed on host machines for improved performance.

Citrix Hypervisor helps enterprises of any size consolidate and transform computing resources into virtual workloads, improving data center capabilities. A recent look at the Citrix Hypervisor left me impressed by the platform’s features and capabilities. It would well serve CIOs looking for cost-effective desktop, server and cloud virtualization infrastructures. Specifically, this solution cuts costs while improving the utilization rates of existing hardware resources.

The most effective feature I observed was Hypervisor’s ability to consolidate multiple virtual machines onto a physical server, a key component of data center optimization strategy for higher ed institutions. This also reduces the number of separate disk images agencies need to manage. The process is not a simple one, but Citrix Hypervisor allows even less experienced IT professionals to initiate the transformations and monitor the enterprise once that task is completed.

Citrix Hypervisor

Why the Citrix Hypervisor 8.2 Requires a Fresh Start

Citrix Hypervisor 8.2 must be installed fresh; there is no direct path for an upgrade from previous versions. As such, higher ed institutions are advised to start from scratch with the process, which Citrix thankfully makes fairly easy.

Once I performed a fresh installation, this new iteration easily integrated with the existing networking and storage infrastructures in my test bed. It also scheduled maintenance with zero downtime because it migrates virtual machines between Citrix Hypervisor hosts in real time.

Cutting-edge data architectures, such as data mesh and composable applications, may be the future of college and university data centers. But virtualization capabilities from solutions such as Citrix Hypervisor are the vehicles that will help drive those modernization efforts forward.


OPERATING SYSTEM: Linux, Microsoft Windows
SERVICE TYPE: Virtualization management
MODEL: Standard Edition
LICENSE TYPE: Subscription

Two Reasons Why Citrix Hypervisor Is Ideal for Higher Ed Institutions

Citrix Hypervisor empowers organizations to run many segregated virtual sessions on a single physical computer, and all software programs executed on these virtual machines are separated from the hardware that powers the virtual machine sessions. Therefore, colleges and universities that create Citrix-based virtual machines can use these small environments to speed up software development and more affordably control and protect the production environment.

Citrix Hypervisor removes the risk and tedium involved in regularly buying and setting up new computers.

In the past, I have had DevOps teams build applications for Apple environments — even though our native enterprise is all Microsoft — to determine how to best roll out internal resources to both macOS and Windows clients. This cross-platform integration is immensely helpful in highly regulated areas, where downtime is not an option.

Citrix Hypervisor is powerful because it is based on the Xen Project hypervisor, a Type 1 (bare-metal) hypervisor, meaning that Citrix runs directly on the physical hardware of the host machine (as opposed to a Type 2 hypervisor, which runs on top of an existing operating system).

Higher education institutions should primarily choose Type 1 systems such as Citrix Hypervisor for two reasons:

  1. Strong Security. With Type 1 hypervisors comes the ability to securely isolate virtual machine builds between virtual machines, and to secure the boot as a separate process. This provides extremely safe remote management. The centralized security policies are also better, which ensures that there is no unauthorized access through a more robust and easily managed set of permissions.
  2. Simplified administration. The management of Type 1 hypervisors is also much easier. Citrix Hypervisor offers centralized management capabilities that enable agencies to better control and monitor the entire virtual infrastructure at scale from a centralized management console. There is not much difference between managing a few systems and watching over hundreds of them using this method, so colleges and universities can scale up in response to needs without worrying about endangering their cybersecurity.

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