Citrix XenServer joins the VM-GenerationID family

One of the new features in Active Directory Domain Services in Windows Server 2012 is Virtualization-safe(r) Active Directory. This feature makes it easier and safer to deploy and manage virtual Domain Controllers through the VM-GenerationID capability of the hypervisor platform.

Hypervisor platforms like Hyper-V (in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 and up) and vSphere (5.0 U4+ and 5.1+) support this feature, but not all environments run these hypervisors and thus virtualized Active Directory environments still run the risk of Lingering Objects and USN Rollback due to Hypervisor-level changes.

You can see the full list of VM-GenerationID-capable hypervisor platforms in this continually updated blogpost.



Last week, Citrix released a new version of XenServer. With Jersey number 6.2 (or full: 6.2.0-70446c), it is the successor to the XenServer 6.1 product, popular with many early service providers.

While Citrix makes a lot of noise for XenServer 6.2 being fully open source and detailing a lot of new features, new per socket licensing and performance metrics, not a word is mentioned on the feature I was looking for, after failing to find it in a fully patched XenServer 6.1 (full: 6.1.0-59235p) installation.

So, I decided to install XenServer 6.2. After installation and configuration of XenCenter, I created a new virtual machine with Windows Server 2012. After the installation I installed the XenTools to the virtual machine and rebooted it. I, then, logged on again and opened up Device Manager (devmgmt.msc):

Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) on Windows Server 2012 as a Xenserver 6.2 guest (click for original screenshot)

As you can see in the screenshot above, Citrix has enabled the VM-GenerationID code in their XenServer hypervisor, enabling Active Directory admins to more safely virtualize their Domain Controllers and cloning their Domain Controllers on it.

Welcome to the VM-GenerationID-capable Hypervisor family, guys!


I haven’t checked any of the behavior outlined in the VM-GenerationID Whitepaper yet, so your mileage as an Active Directory admin may vary.

Related blogposts

New features in AD DS in Windows Server 2012, Part 12: Virtualization-safe Active Directory
New features in AD DS in Windows Server 2012, Part 13: Domain Controller Cloning
List of Hypervisors supporting VM-GenerationID

Further reading

One giant leap in XenServer Performance
XenServer 6.2 is now fully open source!

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