XenSource committment in the Xen project has been questioned since the day a partnership with Microsoft was signed. The acquistion from Citrix in August 2006 raised even more concerns about the Xen destiny and the Citrix effort in the open source community that developed its new hypervisor.
Update: Citrix (through Simon Crosby, CTO of the Virtualization and Management Division and former XenSource CTO) fires back immediately:
- The Xen project is in great shape, superbly funded by Citrix and the community, and is operated independently from Citrix, by the Xen project Advisory Board. Citrix has more than doubled XenSource’s open source team size already, and is continuing to develop new initiatives for Xen. At the most recent Xen developer summit in December, we had over 200 attendees, and there was fantastic participation from across the industry. Our own open source team operates independently from the product groups and has a blank check for headcount and resource.
- Citrix XenServer is a core foundational product to Citrix. Specifically, XenApp (formerly Presentation Server) and XenDesktop (formerly Desktop Server, addressing the VDI use case) will both include XenServer in all future releases. Why? Because XenServer is being optimized to run the XenApp and XenDesktop workloads, and provides a fantastic set of manageability, availability, scalability, and flexibility options to the XenApp/XenDesktop administrator, with incredible performance (very significantly better than VMware’s). Citrix customers don’t like using VMware for virtualizing Presentation Server, because of the very serious performance penalty, but they need to virtualize it for various reasons: test & dev flexibility, consistency of image management, DR, ease of provisioning etc. XenServer offers them all they need, at much better price/performance than VMware. XenServer 4.1 specifically contains optimizations for Presentation Server as a workload.
- XenServer itself continues to go from strength to strength. The new release 4.1 boasts over 50 new features and performance optimizations, and a profound and strategic tight coupling between the virtual infrastructure platform and smart virtualization aware storage, such as the NetApp devices. Expect a range of exciting announcements as we move down this path.