Citrix XenServer joins the VM-GenerationID family

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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!

leave your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.