Citrix today announced that it will make Citrix XenServer Enterprise available at no charge to customers. How does its offering compare to that of Microsoft?
Since Microsoft Hyper-V is free and because Microsoft is making revenue from its System Center family of systems management products, this move will further align Citrix with Microsoft. Furthermore, because Citrix is going to support Hyper-V in its Citrix Essentials management package and because Microsoft is going to support Citrix XenServer in System Center Virtual Machine Manager, the virtualization offerings from both vendors are becoming increasingly symmetrical:
- Citrix XenServer Enterprise (free) with Citrix Essentials management applications ($).
- Microsoft Hyper-V (free) with System Center management applications ($).
That said, there are several areas where the offering from Citrix shines compared to the one from Microsoft:
- XenMotion is included with Citrix XenServer Enterprise.
- Microsoft is not going to have live migration capabilities until Windows Server 2008 R2 is released (in 2010 most likely).
- Citrix is giving away XenCenter for free to allow enterprises to manage multiple hosts.
- The equivalent Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager offering is priced at $869 USD per managed server. Alternatively, customers may purchase Virtual Machine Manager as part of the System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise at $1497 USD per managed server.
Lab Management and Stage Management
- Citrix partnered with VMLogix to include stage and lab management capabilities as part of Citrix Essentials.
- Microsoft is going to offer lab management capabilities as part of Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010.
It is clear that Citrix and Microsoft will continue creating a unified front against VMware. The most recent announcement from Citrix declaring extension of its 20-year partnership with Microsoft into server virtualization underscores this.
Regardless of whether Citrix XenServer Enterprise or Microsoft Hyper-V is the target virtualization platform, planning for these environments side-by-side is becoming increasingly important. Products such as Lanamark Suite and Novell PlateSpin Recon make this possible.
Learn more about the Sever Virtualization Design Module with support for Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and other virtualization platforms.