Citrix Releases XenServer 5
On the first day of VMware's VMworld
happening in Las Vegas this week, Citrix Systems -- a competitor
of VMware that's also at the conference -- announced the release of XenServer
5, the latest version of its server virtualization solution.
The company is obviously hoping the new version will make a big splash in the
increasingly competitive server virtualization market. "XenServer 5 is
going to completely change the way a lot of people think about server virtualization,"
commented the company's vice president and general manager, Lou Shipley, in
a prepared statement. "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."
XenSource, the company that created the XenServer product line, just under
a year ago. According to the company, the latest version of XenServer offers
customers approximately 100 new management tools and features, as well as improvements
relating to disaster recovery and high availability, new monitoring and performance
tools, plus increased access for third-party management solutions.
The new version also offers "the industry's most advanced high-availability,
auto-restart and failover technologies that can be seamlessly upgraded to full
fault tolerance," according to the company.
Citrix is also touting the solution's open architecture. "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," the company said in its marketing materials. "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."
XenServer 5 has been validated through Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validated
Program for Intel and AMD 32-bit and 64-bit chips for Windows Server 2008 as
well as earlier versions of Windows Server. "Microsoft and Citrix share
a common focus on developing an end-to-end computing environment that is flexible,
dynamic and responsive to business change," Zane Adam, Microsoft's senior
director of integrated virtualization, said in a released statement. "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." Citrix has also partnered
with HP, Dell and NetApp.
More information on XenServer 5 can be found on Citrix's Web site here.
Citrix's announcement came on the same day (Monday) that VMware announced its latest strategy in the virtualization market: to transform the virtualization space into the operating system. Sun Microsystems and Microsoft made their virtualization announcements (click here and here for Sun, here and here for Microsoft) in the weeks prior to the show.