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I'm hoping you can help me to get my head around this!

We want to start using virtualisation. We intend to rent a large server in a datacentre and use this.

I was excited to see that XenServer is now free, but we are using linux machines in the office and so could not use XenCenter.

In my research I came across Xen Orchestra which seems to tick all the boxes. However, I've also discovered Archipel and need a bit of help understanding it.

I originally thought Archipel was similar to Xen Orchestra - a web interface to modify hypervisors, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I've also had a terrible time finding documentation for Archipel.

Is there anyone here who uses it and can advise for or against its use?

Thank you for any help.

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OpenXenManager is an alternative to XenCenter, and runs natively on Linux. It can do almost everything that XenCenter can do, including things like applying updates.

You can also install and run XenCenter in Wine, installation using playonlinux works:

The linked guide uses Wine 1.7.37 (although newer versions should work as well), a 32bit Wine prefix, and Wine set to "Windows XP" ("Windows 7" works too). Then additional packages are needed:

There are 3 additional components needed.

POL_install_dotnet40

POL_Install_ie8

POL_Install_tahoma2

The only thing that does not work from Wine is connecting on the default port 443 (HTTPS), port 80 (HTTP) works just fine (the port can be specified in XenCenter by adding ":80" to the server IP address). If you can live with connecting over insecure HTTP then this works well.

I've confirmed with Wireshark that XenCenter sends the password in plaintext over the wire when using port 80. So in most cases this will be a severe security risk.

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I also played with both options and depending on your setup (how many hypervisors?) I would recommend XOA for a smaller environment. You can use it free of charge by installing it in a debian VM, following their up-to-date documentation:

https://github.com/vatesfr/xo/blob/master/doc/installation/manual_installation.md

A few months ago I tried archipel and I was disappointed by the complexity and concluded it's not worth the hassle for a small environment, but maybe interesting in the future if you have hundreds of hypervisors and thousands of VMs. Also the XOA in it's 4.1 version (the update process is simply 3 commands, no restart needed) works pretty well for the basic operations.

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