Simon Crosby, CTO at Citrix Systems recently responded to our blog post on why there may be great synergies between Parallels and Symantec by writing his own post entitled The Strategic Role of the "Could Be" Vendors. Despite our different views on the topic, Citrix and Lanamark have a great relationship and I correspond with Simon regularly. Citrix has also been working closely with Lanamark as a design partner on the Server Virtualization Design Module and Lanamark provides first-class support for Citrix XenServer in Lanamark Suite.
That said, Simon's blog post merits a response:
1. Lanamark hasn't "just signed a deal with Symantec and/or Parallels". We have a great relationship with Parallels and actively work with Parallels partners world-wide. Same goes for Citrix, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and VMware as well as their channel partners. In fact Citrix XenServer and VMware ESX were the first two platforms supported by Lanamark Suite without any "deals" with Citrix or VMware.
2. As a company that focuses on enabling solution providers to deliver virtualization assessment, planning and design services we know a thing or two about virtualization platforms. If Parallels delivers what it promises, then it will have a more versatile and robust virtualization solution that offers high consolidation ratios, automation and performance.
3. If Citrix did not acquire XenSource then it would have been in a similar position Symantec is in today, simply partnering with other platform vendors such as Microsoft. But given its robust portfolio of virtualization, backup, DR, security and other systems management soluions, Symantec has a lot of potential to be a leader in the virtualization space not just a "could be" vendor.
4. Parallels owns significantly more than a "microslice" of the web hosting market and has healthy growth in enterprise deployments.
5. A virtualization platform is of marginal value to an enterprise without proper management and automation tools. So in evaluating whether a solution is free, it's important to consider the TCO of all components in a solution, including automation and management applications that are needed to make the most of the virtualization platform. Hence while Citrix XenServer is free, the reality is that the complete solution is not, unless Citrix of course starts to give away management applications in Citrix Essentials for free as well.