Xen and the Art of Virtualization Software
Not wanting to be left out of the virtualization arms race, Citrix
recently bought XenSource
in a deal worth $500 million, giving Citrix entrée
into both the server and desktop virtualization markets.
Citrix officials said the deal, which involved both cash and stock, is expected
to close some time during this year's fourth quarter. The addition of XenSource's
technology is designed to complement its line of thin client software that distributes
business applications from servers to desktop computers.
The deal comes right on the heels of a blowout public offering by VMware, largely
seen by many industry observers as one of the leaders in virtualization software
market. The company's stock price rocketed from its offering price of $29
to $51 on the first day.
XenSource flagship product, appropriately called Xen, is "hypervisor"
software that lets one system run multiple operating systems at the same time,
giving IT admins an efficient and relatively inexpensive way of replacing many
Another immediate advantage for Citrix is the deal makes it much more competitive
in the open source market, as Xen is presently bundled with the two leading
Linux distributions from Red Hat and Novell. The product also works with Windows,
giving users the flexibility of mixing and matching Windows and open source
technologies in the same environment.
The deal also brings into sharper focus the nature of the relationship between
Citrix and Microsoft. Citrix could, for instance, go mano y mano with Microsoft's
upcoming Viridian virtualization software -- or Microsoft could take the initiative
and decide to incorporate some of XenSource's software into its offerings. I
wouldn't bet on the latter.
According to the terms of the deal, XenSource CEO Peter Levine will be placed
in charge of Citrix's new virtualization and management division.
Vista Hitting an Air Pocket?
In a new
report issued this week by Forrester Research based on interviews with 45
IT managers about their Vista adoption plans, the research company is recommending
laptops as a more "natural" place for most IT shops to do their first
Vista pilots. Because of the systems' small-form factors, locking down data
on the hard drives is a top priority with most chief security officers and chief
information officers. Another reason: Any system with a standard application
configuration that has passed typically stringent compatibility testing is a
good place to start.
Another issue to surface in the report is that a good number of those surveyed
are struggling with how they will deal with the much-anticipated service pack
1 for Vista. Microsoft officials, of course, are characteristically mum on when
said SP1 will arrive exactly, but the smart money appears to be on an early
Back in May of this year, Forrester had conducted interviews among a range
of different PC decision makers about their future plans for Vista deployment,
and the general indication was that most were going to deploy the new operating
system fairly aggressively. Most said they were going to time the Visa upgrade
with scheduled PC upgrades as a way to more efficiently streamline their OS
migration projects. Subsequently, however, many IT managers have become less
aggressive in their Vista deployment plans, mainly because of the "intricacies"
of overseeing typically large and very distributed computing environments.
Kumar Begins 12-Year Sentence
In a sad end to what was a brilliant career, former CEO of CA Sanjay Kumar this
serving a 12-year sentence for his part in a $2.2 billion accounting scandal.
Kumar, 45, will serve his time at a minimum-security federal prison based in
In April of last year, just before his trial was to begin, Kumar plead guilty
to multiple charges including conspiracy, securities fraud and obstruction of
justice stemming from an accounting scandal that resulted in shareholders losing
over $400 million. In that admission of guilt, Kumar confessed to improperly
booking software license revenues in order to meet the profit expectations of
Wall Street analysts. Subsequently, he then lied to investigators about it.
Earlier this year, the federal district court in Brooklyn approved a settlement
requiring Kumar to pay a whopping $800 million to all victims of the fraud.
Kumar agreed to pay $52 million by the end of next year by liquidating assets,
including luxury cars and a yacht.
In many such cases, executives like Kumar rarely serve out their full sentence,
usually getting out after about half that time. But because of the scope of
the CA scandal, some observers believe Kumar will serve all but a year or two
of the 12-year sentence.
Still a Hunk of Burning Love
Today is the 30th anniversary of the passing of The King, Elvis Presley, and
it just wouldn't seem right, even in a newsletter that focuses on Microsoft,
not to pay a small tribute.
Even after being dead for three decades, The King still
made $37 million in 2006 according to Forbes, and is expected to
earn over $40 million this year according to other estimates. In fact, Elvis
remains the top earner among all dead celebrities.
It appears The King is making more dead than Microsoft is making from Windows
Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.