New Data Shows XenServer Gaining Share in Fast Growing Virtualization Market
BOSTON » 9/15/2008 » Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS), the global leader in application delivery infrastructure, today announced Citrix® XenServer™ 5, the next generation of its groundbreaking server virtualization product line. XenServer 5 overcomes the limitations and complexity of first-generation solutions with powerful new management capabilities and unprecedented ease-of-use that make datacenters more dynamic for customers of all sizes. Today’s release comes on the heels of new data showing XenServer gaining share in the rapidly-evolving server virtualization market1 less than one year after acquiring XenSource and the XenServer product line. XenServer is a key component of the Citrix Delivery Center™ product family, a comprehensive datacenter-to-desktop system that helps customers transform static datacenters into dynamic “delivery centers.” XenServer is also a growing force in the emerging cloud computing market and a key component of the new Citrix Cloud Center™ solution launched today (see today’s separate announcement).
“XenServer 5 is going to completely change the way a lot of people think about server virtualization,” said Lou Shipley, VP and General Manager, XenServer product group at Citrix Systems. “We are excited to see the growing momentum around XenServer as customers around the world begin to experience a more powerful, open, easy way to build dynamic datacenters.”
“Having installed the beta version of XenServer 5 we’ve found it to be a well-rounded product which has matured quickly to exceed the market’s demands,” said James Livesey, ICT technical analyst at BULL TCL who is responsible for Barnsley Metropolitan Council’s IT services. “The key for us was the position of XenServer in the broader Citrix Delivery Center product family. The licensing for server and desktop virtualization is bundled so well by Citrix that it makes sense, from both a financial and features perspective, for us to leverage XenServer as the center of our virtualization strategy.”
Powerful New Management Capabilities Add Unparalleled Reliability
Adding to the already long list of proven enterprise-class features such as live migration, resource pooling and workload provisioning, XenServer 5 adds more than 100 new virtualization management features including major new advances in high availability (HA) and disaster recovery. These new capabilities include the industry’s most advanced HA, auto-restart and failover technologies that can be seamlessly upgraded to full fault tolerance for the most mission-critical applications (see today’s separate announcement from Citrix and Marathon Technologies).
XenServer 5 also includes the industry’s most resilient distributed management architecture. This unique design stands in stark contrast to other virtualization solutions in which a single point of failure could bring down all servers across an entire datacenter. In addition, the latest edition of XenServer includes expanded support for replication and remote mirroring architectures, as well as built-in replication for virtual machine metadata information to allow bulletproof, easy and reliable virtual machine and application recovery for disaster or site failure scenarios.
Uniquely Open Architecture Simplifies Management and Improves TCO
XenServer 5 features an enhanced open architecture that makes it even easier for customers to leverage their existing investments in storage and datacenter management systems. Unlike other virtualization products that are built on closed proprietary systems, the open storage APIs in XenServer allow customers to access and control advanced functions such as snapshotting, cloning, replication, de-duplication and provisioning in their existing storage systems from vendors such as EqualLogic and NetApp directly from within the XenServer management console. This unique approach allows customers to fully leverage all the capabilities of their existing datacenter infrastructure rather than deploying and managing an entirely new set of tools and people that apply only to their virtual servers.
The new XenServer 5 management console now supports virtually every storage environment on the market, including NAS (network attached storage), DAS (direct attached storage) and SAN (storage area networks) – both fiber channel and iSCSI – as well as support for 8GB HBAs (host bus adaptors) from both QLogic and Emulex. And via its open storage API, XenServer 5 adds another storage adapter, Dell EqualLogic, to a rapidly growing list of fully integrated storage management capabilities. This unique approach dramatically simplifies datacenter management and underscores the commitment from Citrix to let the vendors who know storage best deliver the same advanced storage capabilities across all servers in the datacenter, both physical and virtual.
This same open architectural approach extends to the popular Xen® hypervisor that powers XenServer (see recent announcement: A State of Xen: Virtualization from PDAs to Super Computers). By incorporating the Xen hypervisor, XenServer 5 automatically inherits the innovation, security and validation of hundreds of leading system developers from over 50 companies, including the world’s largest server and microprocessor manufacturers.
XenServer 5 is the first server virtualization platform to be validated for both AMD and Intel 32-bit and 64-bit systems through Microsoft’s Server Virtualization Validated Program. This program enables Citrix and other software providers to test and validate their virtualization software to run Windows Server 2008 and previous versions of Windows Server. Under this program, Microsoft offers cooperative technical support to customers running Windows Server and select Microsoft server applications on validated, non-Microsoft server virtualization software, such as XenServer 5.
“Microsoft and Citrix share a common focus on developing an end-to-end computing environment that is flexible, dynamic and responsive to business change. Virtualization is at the heart of this work,” said Zane Adam, senior director of integrated virtualization at Microsoft Corp. “To help customers get there, we’re working with Citrix to standardize on a common virtualization format, develop virtual machine interoperability and portability between XenServer 5 and Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, enable cooperative technical support, and use Microsoft System Center as a common management framework.”
See end of release for additional comments of support for XenServer 5 from Dell, HP and NetApp.
Radically Simple Management Provides the Antidote to Virtualization Complexity
Despite the tremendous cost savings of virtualization, industry estimates show that fewer than 15 percent of all servers are virtualized today. One reason is the growing complexity of first-generation virtualization solutions. To overcome this challenge, Citrix has taken ease-of-use to an entirely new level in XenServer 5 by including new configuration wizards, intuitive interfaces and easy point-and-click conversion of physical servers into virtual machines.
XenServer 5 also adds multiple new visibility enhancements that help administrators keep track of virtual machines as they become separated from specific hardware systems and begin to proliferate across large datacenters. These enhancements include a new Web 2.0 style tagging and searching capability which allows IT professionals to assign metadata and virtual tags to workloads, either pre-defined or customized to each organization’s needs. Once tagged, virtual machines are easily located using powerful searching and sorting capabilities based on application type, quality of service requirements, department, cost center, location, origin, owner, performance requirements, or any other important attribute.
XenServer 5 also adds new enhanced performance monitoring, reporting and alerting dashboards that make it easy for IT professionals to see both real time and historical views of virtual machines and physical host performance over long periods of time with virtually no storage or performance overhead. XenServer 5 even allows custom or third-party management solutions to access and report on this persistent performance information, further enhancing ease-of-use for customers of all sizes.
Dynamic Workload Provisioning Improves Agility and Reduces Storage and Power Costs
Unlike other virtualization vendors, Citrix believes virtualization is a key enabling technology, not an end goal – a means to an end that provides fast, flexible, cost-effective delivery of applications and desktops from a central location to any user in any location. As part of that vision, XenServer 5 is the only leading virtualization product to feature dynamic workload provisioning capabilities that let administrators instantly boot and deliver hundreds of workloads from a single image with one click, even if the target servers have no locally attached disk or hypervisor. The result is an immediate reduction of up to 80 percent in the storage footprint required to run common enterprise applications2 – all while simultaneously reducing the number of disk images to store, patch, and manage on each individual machine. By enabling servers to run diskless, XenServer 5 also reduces architectural complexity, lowers power and cooling requirements and improves overall datacenter agility.
Pricing and Availability
Citrix XenServer 5 is available immediately through Citrix’s worldwide network of Solutions Advisors and channel partners. XenServer 5 pricing starts at a suggested retail price of US$900 per server, regardless of how many CPUs or sockets, enabling organizations to deploy XenServer at a fraction of the cost of other leading products. This price includes the advanced XenCenter management technologies and a one-year Citrix Subscription Advantage™ membership. XenServer Express, a production-ready, single-server version of XenServer with unlimited virtual machine and memory support capabilities, is also available for free download at www.citrix.com.
A new instructor-led course to help end-users learn best practices for optimal implementation of XenServer 5 will be available in Q4. An online version of this training will be available exclusively for partners. For more information and updates, please visit the Citrix Education website at www.citrixeducation.com.
About Citrix XenServer
Citrix XenServer, a member of the Citrix Delivery Center product family, is the most powerful, open, easy way to virtualize application workloads across any number of servers in the datacenter as a flexible aggregated pool of computing resources. Unlike traditional virtualization solutions, XenServer addresses both virtual and physical servers, making the entire datacenter more dynamic. XenServer is also a key component of the Citrix Cloud Center (C3) product family, enabling cloud providers to deliver services with the best performance, security, cost savings and agility.