Using XenServer with Citrix products

XenServer provides features that enhances its interoperation with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix DaaS, and Citrix Provisioning.

For more information about these products, see:

Supported versions

You can find the versions of these products that XenServer 8 interoperates with on the Citrix website: Supported Hypervisors for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (MCS) and Citrix Provisioning (PVS).


To use XenServer for your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops or Citrix DaaS workloads, you must have a XenServer Premium Edition license. For more information, see Licensing.

If you already use XenServer or Citrix Hypervisor to host your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops workloads, you can request to participate in our promotion and receive up to 10,000 XenServer Premium Edition socket licenses for free. Learn more.

You can get XenServer licenses from https://xenserver.com/buy.

XenServer features for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

The following XenServer features are designed for use with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix DaaS, and Citrix Provisioning:

  • Intellicache: Using XenServer with IntelliCache makes hosted Citrix Virtual Desktop deployments more cost-effective by enabling you to use a combination of shared storage and local storage. It is of particular benefit when many VMs all share a common OS image. The load on the storage array is reduced and performance is enhanced. In addition, network traffic to and from shared storage is reduced as the local storage caches the primary image from shared storage.

  • Read caching: Read caching improves a VM’s disk performance by caching data within the host’s free memory. It improves performance in a Citrix Virtual Desktops Machine Creation Services (MCS) environment where many VMs are cloned off a single base VM, as it drastically reduces the number of blocks read from disk.

  • PVS-Accelerator: The XenServer PVS-Accelerator feature offers extended capabilities for customers using XenServer with Citrix Provisioning. PVS-Accelerator provides many benefits including data locality, improved end-user experience, accelerated VM boots and boot storms, simplified scale-out by adding more hypervisor hosts, and reduced TCO and simplified infrastructure requirements.

  • Smooth roaming support for Virtual Desktop Tablet Mode: XenServer, in conjunction with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, enables you to experience Windows 10 Continuum experience in a virtualized environment.

  • Graphics virtualization: XenServer provides the virtual delivery of 3D professional graphics applications and workstations in XenServer through GPU Pass-through (for NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel GPUs) and hardware-based GPU sharing with NVIDIA vGPU™ and Intel GVT-g™.

Best practices

When configuring and managing your XenServer environment there are steps you can take to optimize how it works with Citrix products.

Installing and upgrading

  • When first installing XenServer hosts, you can enable Intellicache to cache VM data locally and improve performance. For more information, see Intellicache.

  • If you are upgrading from an earlier version of Citrix Hypervisor or XenServer, the method you use for this upgrade can depend on your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops workload. For more information, see Upgrade scenarios for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

Configuring your environment

  • The XenServer host comes installed with a default TLS certificate. However, to use HTTPS to secure communication between XenServer and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, install a certificate provided by a trusted certificate authority. For more information, see Install a TLS certificate on your host.

Memory usage

  • When XenServer is first installed, it allocates a certain amount of memory to the control domain. In many Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops environments, it is advisable to increase the amount of memory allocated to the control domain beyond this default.

    Increase the control domain memory in the following cases:

    • You are running many VMs on the server
    • You are using PVS-Accelerator
    • You are using read caching

    For information about changing the amount of control domain memory and monitoring the memory behavior, see Memory usage.

Using XenServer with Citrix products