Licensing

XenServer 7.6 is available in the following editions:

  • Enterprise
  • Standard
  • Free (Unlicensed)

The Standard edition is our entry-level commercial offering. It has a range of features for customers who want a robust and high performing virtualization platform, but don’t require the premium features of Enterprise Edition. Meanwhile, they still want to benefit from the assurance of comprehensive Citrix Support and Maintenance.

The Enterprise edition is our premium offering, optimized for desktop, server, and cloud workloads. In addition to the features available in the Standard edition, the Enterprise Edition offers the following features:

  • Automated Windows VM driver updates
  • Automatic updating of the Management Agent
  • Support for SMB storage
  • Direct Inspect APIs
  • Dynamic Workload Balancing
  • GPU virtualization with NVIDIA GRID and Intel GVT-g
  • VMware vSphere to XenServer conversion utilities
  • Intel Secure Measured Boot (TXT)
  • Export pool resource data
  • In-memory read caching
  • PVS-Accelerator
  • Automated Updates using XenCenter
  • XenServer live patching
  • AMD MxGPU
  • Enablement for Citrix Virtual Desktops tablet mode
  • Changed block tracking
  • IGMP snooping
  • USB passthrough
  • SR-IOV network support
  • Thin provisioning for shared block storage devices

Customers who have purchased Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops have an entitlement to XenServer, which includes all the features listed previously.

The Free edition provides a reduced set of features and is not eligible for Citrix Support and Maintenance. Hosts that are running the Free edition of XenServer are labeled as “Unlicensed” in XenCenter.

For more information, see the XenServer Feature Matrix.

XenServer uses the same licensing process as other Citrix products, and as such requires a valid license to be installed on a License Server. You can download the License Server from Citrix Licensing. XenServer (other than through the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops licenses) is licensed on a per-socket basis. Allocation of licenses is managed centrally and enforced by a standalone Citrix License Server, physical or virtual, in the environment. After applying a per socket license, XenServer displays as XenServer Per-Socket Edition.

Note:

Mixed pools of licensed and unlicensed hosts behave as if all hosts were unlicensed.

Unlicensed hosts are subject to restrictions. For more information, see Other Questions.

Licensing steps overview

You need the following items to license XenServer Enterprise or Standard Edition:

  • A XenServer License

  • A Citrix License Server

  • A XenServer host

  • XenCenter

The following steps provide an overview of the process:

  1. Install Citrix License Server or import the Citrix License Server Virtual Appliance into a XenServer host.

  2. Download a license file

  3. Add the license file to the Citrix License Server

  4. Using XenCenter, enter the License Server details and apply them to hosts in your resource pool

For more information about Citrix Licensing, see the Citrix Licensing documentation.

Licensing XenServer

Q: Where can I purchase a XenServer license?

A: You can purchase a XenServer License from http://citrix.com/buy.

Q: How do I apply a XenServer license?

A: XenServer requires a License Server. After licensing XenServer, you are provided with a .LIC license access code. Install this license access code on either:

  • A Windows server running the Citrix License Server software or

  • The Citrix License Server Virtual Appliance.

When you assign a license to a XenServer host, XenServer contacts the specified Citrix License Server and requests a license for the specified servers. If successful, a license is checked out and the License Manager displays information about the license the hosts are licensed under.

For instructions on applying a XenServer license to a Citrix License Server Virtual Appliance, see CTX200159 – How to Apply a XenServer License File to Citrix License Server Virtual Appliance (CLSVA).

Q: How many licenses do I need to license my resource pool?

A: XenServer is licensed on a per-CPU socket basis. For a pool to be considered licensed, all XenServer hosts in the pool must be licensed. XenServer only counts populated CPU sockets.

You can use the Citrix License Server to view the number of available licenses displayed in the License Administration Console Dashboard.

Q: Do I need a per-socket license for sockets that are not populated?

A: No, only populated CPU sockets are counted toward the number of sockets to be licensed.

Q: Do I lose my Virtual Machine (VM) when my license expires?

A: No, you do not lose any VMs or their data.

Q: What happens if I have a licensed pool and the License Server becomes unavailable?

A. If your license has not expired and the License Server is unavailable, you receive a grace period of 30 days at the licensing level that was applied previously.

Q: I am upgrading to XenServer 7.6 from a previous XenServer version with a per socket license; do I have to do anything?

A: No. You can upgrade your hosts to XenServer 7.6 Enterprise Edition using the previously purchased per socket licenses, provided Customer Success Services is valid at least until May 16, 2018.

If you have renewed your Customer Success Services after the original purchase, you might need to refresh the license file on the License Server to ensure it displays the Customer Success Services eligibility.

Q: I am moving from XenServer 7.5 unlicensed edition to XenServer 7.6. Do I have to do anything?

A: No. You can upgrade or update your hosts to XenServer 7.6. You remain ineligible for support and premium features are inaccessible until an appropriate license is applied.

Q: I am a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops customer moving from XenServer 7.5 to XenServer 7.6. Do I have to do anything?

A: No. Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops customers can update to XenServer 7.6 seamlessly. Your existing installed Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops license grants you entitlement to XenServer without requiring any other changes.

Licensing trade

Q: I am a Citrix Service Provider licensed for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Can I use this license for XenServer when I upgrade to XenServer 7.6?

A: Yes. XenServer 7.6 supports your license. With this license, you can use all of the premium features provided by the Enterprise Edition of XenServer. To apply this license to your pools, first upgrade or update all hosts within the pool to run XenServer 7.6.

Q: I am customer with a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service subscription. Am I entitled to use XenServer 7.6?

A: Yes. If you have a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service subscription that enables the use of on-premises Desktops and Apps, you are entitled to use XenServer to host these Desktops and Apps.

Download a license through the licensing management tool. Install this license on your License Server to use on-premises XenServer with your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service subscription.

With this license you can use all of the same premium features as with an on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops entitlement. To apply this license to your pools, first upgrade all hosts within the pool to run XenServer 7.6.

Q: What are the constraints on the use of the XenServer Enterprise Edition advanced virtualization management capabilities delivered as part of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops?

A: Every edition of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops has access to XenServer Enterprise Edition advanced virtualization management features. A complete list of all features enabled by a Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops license can be found in the XenServer Feature Matrix.

XenServer entitlements permit virtualization of any infrastructure required to deliver Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops feature components. These features must be accessed exclusively by Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops licensed users or devices.

Extra infrastructure support servers, such as Microsoft domain controllers and SQL servers are also covered by this entitlement, providing they are deployed in the same XenServer resource pool as the Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops infrastructure covered by this license, and providing those support servers are used to support the Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops infrastructure only.

The XenServer entitlement in the Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops license cannot be used for XenServer pools that don’t host Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Desktops infrastructure or Virtual Deliver Agents (VDAs). You also cannot use this entitlement for hosting virtual machines not covered by the permissions above. XenServer must be purchased separately for these uses.

Citrix License Servers

Q: Which License Servers can I use with XenServer?

A: You can either use the Citrix License Server software version 11.14 or later (on a server running Microsoft Windows), or the Linux-based Citrix License Server virtual appliance.

Q: How do import my license onto the Citrix License Server?

A: For information on importing a license file, see the Licensing documentation on the Citrix Product Documentation website.

Q: Can I run the License Server on my XenServer pool?

A: Yes. You can install the Citrix License Server software on a Windows VM or import the Linux-based Citrix License Server virtual appliance. For ease of deployment, the Citrix License Server software is pre-installed on this virtual appliance, and it can run as a VM in your XenServer pool.

XenServer operates with a ‘grace’ license until the License Server is able to boot. This behavior means, after you have licensed the XenServer hosts in your pool, and you reboot the host that has the Citrix License Server running on it, a grace period is applied to that host until the appliance is restarted.

Q: Can I use the Windows version of the Citrix License Server with XenServer?

A: Yes.

Q: Can I install Licenses for other Citrix products on a Citrix License Server virtual appliance, or on the Citrix License Server software installed on Windows?

A: Yes, you can license other Citrix products using the Citrix License Server virtual appliance or through the Citrix License Server software installed on Windows. For more information, see Licensing on the Citrix Product Documentation website.

Licensing a XenServer pool

Q: How do I apply a license to all the hosts using XenCenter?

A: Follow this procedure to apply a license:

  1. On the Tools menu, click License Manager.

  2. Select the Pool or Hosts you would like to license, and then click Assign License.

  3. In the Apply License dialog, specify the Edition type to assign to the host, and type the hostname or IP address of the License Server

Q: Can I apply a license without using XenCenter?

A: Yes, you can use the xe CLI. Run the host-apply-edition command. For example, enter the following to license a host:

xe host-apply-edition edition=enterprise-per-socket|desktop-plus|desktop|standard-per-socket

license-server-address=<*licenseserveraddress* host-uuid=<*uuidofhost*

license-server-port=<*licenseserverport*

To license a pool, use the pool-apply-edition command. For example:

xe pool-apply-edition edition=enterprise-per-socket|desktop-plus|desktop|standard-per-socket\

license-server-address=<*licenseserveraddress*> pool-uuid=<*uuidofpool*>\

license-server-port=<*licenseserverport*>\

Q: How can I discover the license status of my hosts and pools?

A: XenCenter displays the license type of a server or pool.

To see the license type of a server or pool, select that server or pool in the tree view. XenCenter displays the license status in the title bar for that server or pool, after the server or pool name.

Mixed pools of licensed and unlicensed hosts behave as if all hosts were unlicensed. In the tree view, XenCenter displays unlicensed pools with a warning triangle icon.

Other questions

Q: How do I get a license to evaluate XenServer?

A: You do not need a license to evaluate XenServer. You can use XenServer in an unlicensed state. However, you do not have access to premium features. In addition, you are not eligible for Citrix Support or maintenance.

You can get a trial license to try the Enterprise Edition features. For more information, see Get started.

Q: Can I use XenServer without a license?

A: If you use XenServer in an unlicensed state (Free edition), you are not eligible for Citrix Support or maintenance. In addition, the following features are restricted and require a license:

  • Pools of more than three hosts

Note:

This restriction does not impact existing pools that contain three or more hosts until you attempt to add another host to the pool

  • High Availability

  • Dynamic Memory Control

  • Storage Motion

  • Role-Based Access Control

  • GPU Passthrough

  • Site Recovery Manager

  • Active Directory Integration

  • Rolling Pool Upgrade

You can get a trial license to try XenServer Enterprise Edition. For more information, see Getting started with XenServer.

More information