The motherboard and Ryzen I am using was relatively new at the time, but XCP-ng boots, installs and works just fine on the Ryzen CPU straight away. The new 570 chipset means there’s no sensors support at all in the kernel, but that will resolve itself over time.
XCP-ng is pretty comfortable to use and it felt almost ESXi like to me with a very nice console for me to start-up/shutdown VMs or the host itself.
And like ESXi, I need to install an additional VM for cluster management (VCenter). You can run XCP-ng stand-alone, but adding xen-orchestra (especially the free edition) really brings the whole suite to enterprise grade.
Configuration of auto start/stop of VM is confusing. For some reason it takes me multiple reboots to get this right.
The VM seems fast and responsive. But there are times when things doesn’t seem to be as responsive. My biggest gripe is that network throughput can be hit and miss, running untangle (acting as my inter-VLAN router and security scanner) as a VM basically killed the network.
Administration wise, you can use xen-orchestra, or xcp-ng center for Windows. There is nothing else as far as I know. Not that big a deal if you don’t need console access to the VMs, but a pain in the ass when you have to. When I VPN back into the home network, loading up a Windows GM, the graphics over my slow 50/20 connection is pretty laggy.
There is also no audio support. Sure you can setup RDP and get audio that well. But what about Linux machines then? Especially troublesome for Snakeoil development, I have to buy a cheap USB audio device and pass through this to the VM. This configuration makes it harder for me to migrate the VM around the 3 servers because the USB audio device is tied to the server host, and not the computer I’m working on.
I like to keep my software updated. XCP-ng has released several updates in my short months of use. Unfortunately, I had to reboot the server each and every time. Sure this is not a problem if I am running a cluster of the same CPU types. Not in my case (Ryzen, Xeon and Celeron), I cannot live migrate VMs. This means I have to shut down all my VMs, reboot the host and power up the VMs. So an update will incur downtime in my setup.
These are my main gripes. At the end of the day I reckon XCP-ng is more suited to run headless VMs - machines where all you need to do is SSH in. This software is not suited if you need to run VMs with access to GUI console.
If you don’t have a Windows machine, using XCP-ng can really be a pain. Sure you can do almost everything in Xen Orchestra, or you can run xcp-center under Windows emulation. At the end of the day, you have to use both XOA and XCP-center together. Till this day I have no idea how to change a network MTU from the web interface. There are things you can configure only in xcp-center (MTU), and things you can only configure in Xen Orchestra (e.g. backups).
Where it’s more enterprise focused, it’s still lacking pieces to complete the whole picture. Something I’m sure will be addressed in time.
Comment from: JJ Visitor
Thanks. I was wondering which one to use and your article helped me a lot.