Isn’t the Microsoft-Citrix alliance as perfect as marketing pictures it?

Posted by Staff   |   Monday, November 30th, 2009   |  

microsoft logo

citrix logo

No matter how hard Microsoft and Citrix try to convince customers.
The whole idea that the two companies can recreate the Terminal Services-MetaFrame synergy on server virtualization doesn’t sound good. And it doesn’t sound good for a simple reason: in the first case, MetaFrame (or Presentation Server or XenApp) is a sophisticated add-on that enriches Terminal Services but can’t exist without it; in the second case, Microsoft and Citrix have completely overlapping virtualization platform which can fully replace each other.

The two companies may be totally aligned in terms of marketing effort to jointly attack the VMware leadership, but what happens when the Microsoft and Citrix sales guys actually visit the customers?
Aren’t they obliged to compete for the same account? If not, how exactly they suggest to the customer to choose between Hyper-V plus System Center versus XenServer plus Essentials? And even if there’s no friction there, which hypervisor do they recommend between Hyper-V and XenServer when the customer wants a XenDesktop-powered VDI environment?

The Microsoft and Citrix official position is that they don’t care which hypervisor is chosen, but virtualization is still pretty new for many. When the customer looks for guidance, how they will proceed?

Finally, somebody reports about this untold conflict:

…One instance where I was involved was where Microsoft actually brought Citrix into a pre-sales meeting.  The discussions were going well and the talk was about Hyper-V, among other things, being deployed in this customer.  Without any indication of what was coming, the Citrix Field Sales team proceeded to stand and step all over Microsoft and start talking about XenServer and why this needed to be the hypervisor of choice in this customer’s environment.  Needless to say, the customer was confused and looked like a “deer in the headlights”.  The discussion went downhill fast and the meeting ended with the customer frustrated, confused, and wondering why Microsoft and Citrix weren’t getting along as was always talked about and that the message was so confusing.  So what happened?  The customer went with VMware and has since moved deeper into that technology…

Of course this is just an opinion, even if it comes from a well-known, respected and knowledgeable expert in the virtualization community.
As usual, welcomes other, different opinions. And if they come from the field level it’s much better.

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