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Citrix Changes the Virtualization Market by Giving XenServer for Free

by Abel Avram on Feb 25, 2009 |

After buying XenSource 18 months ago for half a billion USD, Citrix offers their last version of the XenServer “free of charge to any user for unlimited production deployment”. This move will certainly have a significant impact on the virtualization market in the cloud computing era that has begun.

XenServer is a type 1, enterprise class, cloud aware virtualization solution offering “centralized multi-node management, multi-server resource sharing and full live motion”. Citrix already powers 5,000 data centers world wide. Offering the hypervisor for free, Citrix hopes to penetrate even deeper into the virtualization market:

With more than 75 percent of corporate servers worldwide still not virtualized, today’s announcement helps accelerate the adoption of virtualization by bringing the simplicity, scale and economics of the cloud to enterprise datacenter for the first time ever. 

Citrix considers their solution is better then the main competitor’s VMware ESXi by having a few key features:

Centralized multi-server management

Resilient distributed management architecture

Live motion

Shared VM template library

Centralized configuration management

Virtual infrastructure patch management

Intelligent initial VM placement

Intelligent server maintenance mode

Fine-grained CPU resource controls

Hot-swappable disks and NICs

To be able to make some money after giving one of their best products for free, Citrix has also announced the availability of Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Hyper-V, a new product targeted at Citrix and Microsoft’s virtualization platforms which integrates VMLogix’ management and automation technology, especially LabManager and StateManager. The key capabilities are:

  • Automated Lab Management streamlines the process of building, testing, sharing and delivering applications on-demand
  • Advanced Storage Integration featuring Citrix® StorageLink™ technology
  • Dynamic Provisioning Services reduce costs and optimize datacenter infrastructure
  • Workflow Orchestration enables users to automate key management processes
  • High Availability delivers a broad range of powerful high availability options

Citrix has announced the availability of XenServer by the end of March 2009 and Citrix Essentials for XenServer on April 7, 2009.  A free download of XenServer and a free 30 days trial version of Essentials can be tested today.

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