XenServer for Free? If True, it Could Be the Way in for Citrix…

I’ve weighed in before on the whole ‘unshackle free ESXi’, several times in fact. And I’m going to do it again, because this latest move by Citrix is _very_ interesting. It’s no secret that the only viable External Cloud providers out there at the moment are running Xen in one form or another. Not XenServer, just Xen. And if binary image compatibility isn’t there currently with XenServer, I’m sure it wouldn’t take much to do so.

When I hear of developers in the business side of my organisation dabbling with EC2, and spreading word of how impressed they are with it, I start thinking about the implications this may have for the Internal Cloud. The business calls the shots after all – they’re the ones making the money. Now to some degree you would hope that the underlying hypervisor would be largely abstracted from an application stack, but it doesn’t work that way in the Enterprise. Internal Engineering teams can only vet a small configuration set. You can bet that Xen-based guests aren’t in that set right now, but if the business make enough noise about it, it will happen. This is one thing that Microsoft have learnt very well – as Steve Ballmer says “Developers! Developers! Developers!”. Win the hearts and minds of the developers, and the infrastructure will evolve to support that. After all, the apps are there to support the business, and the infrastructure is there to support the apps.

So with the business crowing about EC2, XenServer with enterprise class vendor certifications, an XML-RPC based API that even has a PowerShell interface, performance that is on par with ESX for many workloads, an embedded version available to OEM’s, a client hypervisor well on its way, and a zero price tag… well, as the title of this post says, things just got more interesting! If VMware don’t start making some serious moves into the External Cloud provider space, via a free completely unshackled ESXi (so those external providers can wrap their own management and monitoring tools around it without going bankrupt), this could be the inroad that Citrix have been looking for.

And I’ll bloody well have to retract my prediction about the end of Citrix XenServer. Damn 😀


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One Response to “XenServer for Free? If True, it Could Be the Way in for Citrix…”

  1. ruste Says:

    you know it brother man ! VMW need to show some EC2 style loving, and give the punters what they want/need. Enjoy cannes !

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